SLF Communication provides advice and support for senior managers in education and business. Our main focus is on digital accessibility and learning .
Communication is the process of sending and receiving information to and from others. This receiving of information and then understanding how it links to existing knowledge and experience is in short, learning.
Communication of ideas, facts and processes needs to be as efficient and effective as possible so that each recipient can examine and test its meaning. This may happen in any way such as reading text, watching a video or listening to a teacher in a classroom. Learning environments provide systems and tools to test and explore information and negotiate and share ideas with others including the teacher. The learning environment maybe a classroom, but can also be anywhere including online, in the workplace or any other place.
Providing the information in a clear, lucid and accessible way will ensure that as many people as possible are able to access it.
Digital Accessibility is a term that describes a way of designing and building digital content so that as many people as possible can access it.
Why does Accessibility Matter?
In the the United Kingdom, 19% of the working population have declared a disability, rising to 45% of retired people. (source, Families Resources Survey 2016/17). These constitute 3.5 million working adults who may struggle to access poorly structured online or other forms of digital content.
It is not only those with disabilities who benefit from accessible content. People with colour blindness or specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, may struggle to read or navigate through inaccessible content. Accessibility features are used in many situations to improve understanding. Sub-titles on video content are used on streaming televisions in busy spaces such as pubs or office reception areas, or to share content on social media without recourse to using sound. International readers also benefit from accessibility features.
Organisations that are accessible do not just focus on their website. There are many other areas to be considered such as documentation, presentation styles or marketing material.
Accessible design is good design. If the purpose of a website, document or presentation is to convey information, then any design feature that reduces the number of people who can access that information represents poor design.
Accessibility is easy to include within digital content if it is considered from the start. It is much more difficult to ‘reverse fit’ content once it has been created.