Last week Recite Me launched our very first ‘What Does Accessibility Mean to Me?’ week and we’re delighted to say it went brilliantly. 5 days were spent delving into a broad range of accessibility, diversity and inclusion topics. We ran this week to provide a platform for everyone to come together to raise awareness for web accessibility, and give people a voice to express their opinions and experiences.
Spreading the Importance of Accessibility and Inclusion Far and Wide
We were blown away with the number of organisations and people who got involved. 115 organisations from the UK and the USA helped us raise awareness across multiple platforms. With the likes of London City Airport, Utilita Energy and Guidant Global opening up the conversation about accessibility.
Through organisations and their amazing followers The Accessibility to Me campaign reached a staggering 600,000 people across LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. That’s 600,000 people learning about the importance of accessibility and inclusion.
What Did We Do During The Week?
To commemorate our very first accessibility awareness week, Ross Linnett, Recite Me Founder and CEO, wrote a personal guest blog. Accessibility is a topic extremely close to Ross’s heart and you can read Ross’s blog to find out about his story and what accessibility means to him.
Other members of the Recite Me team also got involved to share their opinions and what accessibility means to them. Watch our video to find out what they said.
What Does Accessibility Mean to our Clients & Partners?
We were joined by clients and partners to delve deeper into their particular organisations and industries to understand more about accessibility and inclusion.
Jade Haase, Head of Marketing at Murray McIntosh, helped us to shine a spotlight on accessibility in the recruitment sector and explained some of the online and offline barriers that applicants face. Read our Q&A with Jade here.
Later in the week we spoke to Erin Flower, Group Marketing Manager at Everyone Active, to find out more about inclusive fitness. She shared examples of how they provide support for those with additional needs, as well telling us her hopes for the future of activity centres in terms of accessibility. Read our Q&A with Erin here.
We were lucky enough to work on a video with Nell Andrew, Equality & Inclusion Officer at GMB Union, where she discusses her personal experiences with neurodiversity and the importance of providing an inclusive workplace. Watch the video here.
So.. What Did People Say Accessibility Means to Them?
Many people openly shared what accessibility means to them across social media. Below are some of the responses we received across the week.
“To me, accessibility is making sure that everyone is able to get what they need in a simple and easy way, without struggle or stress understanding.” @RachelSlack20
“Accessibility to me is being empowered by the reasonable adjustments I use every day in my job.” @jamieshieldsVI
“Accessibility is the feeling of people willing to adapt to you to work better together. It is feeling seen and valued for who you are. It’s being able to use your full potential with no barriers” Blanca, Aiimi
“What accessibility means to us: Our mission is to provide support to persons with disabilities throughout their lifespan so they can achieve their highest level of independence in their community.” DAWN Center for Independent Living
Accessibility To Me Webinar
The highlight of the week was the Accessibility To Me Webinar on Thursday which was attended by 240 people from across all sectors.
Our expert panel discussed what accessibility means to them, shared personal experiences, professional standpoints, and insights on what everyone can do to be more inclusive.
Joining Ross Linnett, Recite Me Founder and CEO, was:
- Charlotte Sweeney OBE, an ID&E Specialist
- Dave Messenger, EDI and Disability Access Officer at Watford Football Club
- Jurgen Donaldson, Independent Talent Acquisition and Diversity Advisor
- Sophie O’Sullivan, a university student who has dyslexia
At the end of the webinar they provided so insightful lasting comments for the audience to take away…
We can only get to the point where a disability doesn’t become a disadvantage if we all try as individuals and organisations to help marganilise groups, then eventually it will become the norm. Everyone will all have the same access.
It is important that organisations make sure they have diverse views and diverse perspectives around the table when they’re talking about different services, different products and different employee experiences. This should be done from the very beginning rather than further down the line.
When you are considering candidates that have disabilities, see their skills, not their disabilities. There is a huge wealth of untapped talent out there. Secondly, employers need to lead with empathy because it’s the right thing to do.
Make sure that you are listening when you are creating products/services and when you are speaking to customers. Let that be your starting point and let it guide you, there is nothing more important to understand as much as you can before you move forward.
Recognising the strength of those with accessibility needs is important. They should feel empowered that they can have the access that opens up their world. The accessible world is the beaming light that shines over the reflection of doubt and difficulties that individuals have.
We would like to say a huge thank you to all our amazing panelists!
Supporting Your Accessibility Journey Online
From everyone at Recite We would like to say thank you to everyone who got involved and helped make our first accessibility awareness week a huge success. The entire team was overwhelmed with the amount of support and the positive feedback we got – it was truly amazing!
If you would like to learn more about online accessibility please feel free to contact our team who will be happy to help you.