The Big Business of Digital Accessibility

The internet is an amazing resource, enabling people to instantly access products, services, information, communication, entertainment, etc, anywhere and at any time. And it’s especially useful and important for disabled people, for whom such a direct connection with the world around them plays a vital role.

However, there are still many websites, social media feeds and apps, and other technologies such as self-service checkouts and kiosks, that are partly or wholly unusable by disabled people, due to poor accessibility. This means they cannot access information and purchase products from many retailers and service providers, as they are unjustly hindered or prevented from doing so. As a result, they either don’t buy anything at all, or find accessible competitors instead. Which means many businesses are missing out on the benefits of a huge market worth £274 billion a year!

The same logic also applies when disabled people are prevented from gaining physical access to buildings, facilities, transport, etc, which is a vitally important and huge issue in itself. But for this post I’m focusing on the digital side.

Disability charity Scope have therefore released the findings of their survey on inclusive design, which illustrates the impact of poor digital access. This is to help them publicise The Big Hack, a comprehensive online resource advising businesses on best practice for digital accessibility and inclusion. And to help with the promotion, Scope invited me to take part in some media coverage, which included my first ever TV appearance! Check out my little bits of stardom here:

So in this long post, which I’ve divided into sections to break it up a bit, I want to:

For clarity, I have not been paid or gifted for my interviews or this post. This is just a topic I feel strongly about, so I was happy to take part in the media coverage, and all opinions here are my own. I also encourage you to research the subject of accessibility further, including the resources on The Big Hack, as there is no way I can cover everything, and no single person is a complete authority on the subject. I’m just talking about things from my own personal perspective, so I hope my thoughts and experiences are useful.

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September 2018 Favourites

Time for another monthly update, and it’s fair to say that September was very busy and productive, as well as throwing up one or two surprises, which in turn are paving the way for a very interesting October. There is of course a video to go with this post, and I hope you enjoy this little catch-up as usual!

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Meeting Fashioneyesta

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that one of my favourite Youtubers is Fashioneyesta, aka Emily Davison. And this Monday I actually got to meet her and spend the day with her, much to my delight. She’s now posted a wonderful vlog of the day on her FashioneyestaExtra channel, so I wanted to blog about it from my own perspective as well.

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Youtube Subtitles

A little while back I wrote a blog post about audio description for TV shows and films, and audio navigation on DVD menus. Things like that really help people who are visually impaired. But if you have partial or complete hearing loss, then that kind of feature isn’t much use. Instead, the equivalent form of assistance for such people is subtitles and captions, which display a text transcript of what people are saying and what sounds can be heard. And these also make a huge difference. And experimenting with it on Youtube has earned me a shoutout on a fellow blogger’s channel, which I’m very flattered about. If you’ve come here because of that video, which I’ll mention later, then hi! 🙂

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