Creating an accessible world of work – Sage Advice UK

Accessibility is a subject that we focus on commonly at Sage. In our personal phrases, ‘Sage is dedicated to creating merchandise, providers, and content material accessible’. In doing so, we serve a wider viewers and supply a greater general person expertise.

It’s an outlook we share with numerous different companies, huge and small. However how do issues look inside these companies? Are we and our friends practising what we preach?

In a mini-series of articles, we’ll discover methods to make workplaces extra inclusive and supply a greater general colleague expertise. These are steps we’ve got actively taken at Sage to make sure we’re making it a greater place to work for these with an entry want, and this helps create a greater place to work for all.

Learn on and be part of our pledge to make office accessibility issues the norm for all companies. Discover out what you are able to do to make a distinction.

Making Outlook accessible

Outlook is among the most used instruments for companies, so the place higher to begin? Listed below are a number of recommendations on the promotion of accessible emails, and really helpful instruments to make our information straightforward for all to make use of.

Test, then ship: Accessibility Checker for Outlook emails.

  1. In Outlook, whereas writing or replying to an e mail message, choose Choices and click on Test Accessibility.
  2. Assessment your outcomes. You’ll see an inventory of errors, warnings, and ideas with how-to-fix suggestions for every. You may assessment the Rules for the Accessibility Checker for extra info.
  3. Choose a selected difficulty to see why you must repair the difficulty and what steps you’ll need take to vary the content material.
Creating an accessible world of work – Sage Advice UK
Accessibility checker on Outlook

The accessibility checker will assessment a lot of standards, which may embody parts akin to various textual content with visuals, significant anchor textual content on hyperlinks, distinction for textual content and background colors, bigger font sizes, and extra. Our accessibility checklist outlines a few of these accessibility necessities.

Tip: That will help you to recollect to run the Test Accessibility instrument, I’d recommend changing your Outlook ribbon to incorporate a brand new tab with solely the Test Accessibility button seen.

Accessible emails

One other helpful tip is to state that you just desire accessible content material within the emails you obtain. This might help to advertise using accessibility options and makes colleagues extra conscious of the significance of accessibility. To do that:

1. Enter the Settings space of your web-based Outlook e mail. It can seem as a cog icon on the prime proper of the display screen.

2. Search the phrase ‘entry’ within the search field after which choose Accessible Content material.

3. Tick the field subsequent to Ask senders and this may allow you to ship content material that’s accessible.

Discovering the cog icon in Outlook

When a colleague who’s utilizing Outlook 365 writes you an e mail, they’ll now see an on-screen warning in the event that they used any inaccessible content material. Helpfully for the sender, choosing Assessment Accessibility Points possibility opens Outlook’s Accessibility Inspector function to advise easy methods to resolve any points that it’d flag.

Spreading the phrase of accessibility at work

Accessibility isn’t just about taking technical steps for enchancment within the office. It’s additionally about consciousness and communication.

Attempt including a phrase like ‘This e mail has been checked for accessibility’ inside e mail signatures, to assist put it on the forefront of colleagues’ minds.

The Accessibility Checker additionally runs throughout the Workplace suite, so you’ll be able to control accessibility whilst you work in Phrase, Excel, and PowerPoint. The set-up is similar as Outlook in which you can add the ribbon or be notified of accessibility points in your paperwork as you’re employed on them. To allow this function, choose the checkbox for ‘Preserve accessibility checker working whereas I work’.

Including an accessibility test into your e mail signatures.

Clearer communication is essential

How we talk at work also needs to be thought-about with regards to inclusivity. If we’re chatting utilizing instruments like Slack and Groups, we have a tendency be somewhat extra informal in tone, together with our phrasing and language used. Whereas these sorts of instruments are beneficial for collaboration and connection, we additionally must guarantee that they’re inclusive, too. Right here are some things to think about when utilizing chat providers, apps, or instruments…

Labelling your pictures and attachments

The saying goes {that a} image paints a thousand phrases. Nonetheless, if the phrases are ‘screenshot-01-05-2021’, this will make it far more tough for all customers to know what that picture is. Equally importing a picture saved with ‘screenshot’ as its picture identify is just not very descriptive.

Right here’s a fast approach so as to add some context for customers of assistive expertise in order that while you share or ship pictures, they’ll interpret what the content material of that picture is:

1. Add the file and click on on the picture to broaden it – a brand new window will open.

2. Within the top-left nook of the window, choose Edit.

3. Rename the file with an outline of the picture. There isn’t any want so as to add alt textual content, as display screen readers will announce that it’s a picture, however the description needs to be easy and correct.

At the moment we’re utilizing the work round of including descriptive textual content when posting a picture.

Good apply for GIFs

Very similar to pictures, GIFs are frequent in our day-to-day chat to convey all the things from humour to emotions and reactions. Typically, a Chandler Bing clip says greater than you may ever sort!

Like Emojis, GIFs can function highly effective language enhancers. Nonetheless, to guarantee that everybody utilizing assistive expertise is in on the enjoyable, it’s finest so as to add captions to your GIFs to offer context.

Right here’s how one can add captions for finest apply utilizing instruments like Slack:

1. Sort /giphy #caption ‘write description right here’ [this is your giphy search term] within the message compose area.

2. You could want to pick Shuffle till you discover the GIF that you just’re in search of. When prepared, choose Ship. Your new caption can even be overlaid on the GIF itself.

Making hyperlinks make sense

Changing an extended advanced URL with linked anchor textual content is an effective way to save lots of area in a put up, however it additionally has different helpful capabilities for accessibility. Hyperlinks utilizing anchor textual content can inform the person what the aim of the hyperlink is, the place the hyperlink goes to take them, or what is going to occur when the hyperlink is clicked.

That is extremely useful for customers who are inclined to skim content material or are in search of particular info however it’s additionally nice for customers who rely completely on keyboard navigation. Keyboard navigation solely permits customers to click on on hyperlinks that obtain focus. Subsequently, it’s good practise to make sure that hyperlinks have clearly comprehensible anchor textual content when designing purposes, webpages, and inside all different content material.

So as a substitute of ‘click on right here’ or unrelated phrasing, create anchor textual content that’s extra specific. For instance: ‘go to our financial institution of sources’ or ‘click on right here to open doc in a brand new window’,

Right here’s some fast steps on how to do that when inserting hyperlinks into copy or creating hyperlinks on web page:

1. Use descriptive textual content that explains what the hyperlink is directing to, or what motion you’d just like the person to take

2. Purpose to incorporate an motion inside the hyperlink

3. Don’t be afraid to person longer, extra descriptive anchor textual content the place acceptable – particularly if it would assist make the extra sense to take action

4. If a hyperlink opens a brand new tab or window, point out this within the hyperlink textual content to make it clear to the person what is going to occur when clicked.

5. Use textual content that relates carefully to the subject or heading on the vacation spot web page

Study extra about navigating web pages using a keyboard and how one can create content material that’s extra inclusive for customers who depend on this expertise.  

Be aware with Emojis

You’ll have been utilizing Emojis to assist break up content material in a put up or utilizing them to create headlines or dividers in Slack or Groups. This would possibly look nice for customers utilizing a daily display screen view, however for these utilizing assistive expertise, this will affect accessibility. Whenever you embody an Emoji, the display screen reader reads out the outline of that Emoji, like it will with an precise picture inside the content material. You probably have a number of Emojis in a row, the display screen reader will learn this out in full. For instance: black circle, small black circle, laughing face. This may be extremely irritating and complicated for a person. 

Assistive expertise will learn Emoji names one after the other, which defeats the purpose of the Emoji’s objective – to reinforce that means, and to take action rapidly and successfully. As a substitute, it detracts from the precise substance and that means of the content material.  

As a substitute, think about using easy textual content formatting as a substitute that will help you craft attention-grabbing posts.  

Further methods to take away communication obstacles

A colleague might need problem studying or writing messages in software program like Groups for a lot of totally different causes. Possibly the content material is just not of their first language. Maybe they’ve studying difficulties. Or perhaps they’ve glorious listening to however impaired imaginative and prescient.

Microsoft Staff’s Immersive Reader function might help manipulate textual content to suit a person’s wants, regardless of the problem could also be. From breaking phrases down into syllables or serving to customers with dyslexia to visualise the phrases.

Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs inside textual content might be highlighted in several colors to assist in giving a visible studying expertise. And for individuals who expertise color sensitivity, akin to color blindness, customers may even manipulate the colors and brightness.

Hear posts and messages learn aloud utilizing Immersive Reader in Microsoft Groups by choosing the triple dots after which ‘Immersive Reader’.

Tip: If it’s simply translation you want, there’s additionally a shortcut from every message that may translate any content material if it’s not in your present language. Simply hit the triple dots, then translate.

Straightforward, proper?

These are only a few of the straightforward steps we will take in the direction of making a extra accessible world of labor for colleagues and associates of all talents.

As a part of this ongoing sequence, we can even take a look at ideas we use at Sage to make conferences extra inclusive and share methods to take advantage of your colleague’s capabilities throughout calls.

You can even discover out extra about our pledge in the direction of accessibility by our Sage accessibility hub and uncover the steps we’re taking to make our tradition, merchandise, and web site extra inclusive.

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