Accessibility in communications considers different needs and ways of assimilating information and takes diversity as a starting point.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities established in 2006 that “disability is an evolving concept and that disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”.
Therefore, it could be said that an environment becomes inclusive when it overcomes barriers and allows people with disabilities to participate in society with equal opportunities.
Communication is essential for social participation and makes integration and cooperation between people possible. When planning and designing the communications of a company, it is necessary to consider people in all their diversity, since otherwise, it could become an obstacle to the inclusion of people with disabilities.
What is accessibility in communication?
Accessibility in communication takes into consideration different needs and ways of assimilating information, that is, all communication pieces must be clear and easy to consume, taking diversity as a starting point.
It is key to anticipate the needs of various groups when planning campaigns and designing communication pieces. The more inclusive the original communication is, the fewer alternative formats will have to be provided and the less time and resources will be spent on communicating the same message to different groups.
Options to facilitate the accessibility of information
Some of the types of communication that contribute to an accessible transmission of information are:
- Audio description. It is the description of movies or image content, in which what happens on the screen is narrated. It is recommended for blind people
- Captions. It refers to the use of captions of what is spoken in an audiovisual product. It is indicated for deaf people.
- Braille system. It is a points system, used by people with visual disabilities or blindness to be able to write and read texts, books and documents. It is a tactile reading and writing system.
- Sign language. It is the language through gestures by which people with hearing disabilities and / or speech difficulties communicate. It is also used by people without command of the oral language.
- Easy read. The texts in easy read are written in a summarized and simple language so that they can be understood by people with cognitive problems or intellectual disabilities.
- Accessible websites. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) established the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, which include images having alternative text, color contrast, text re-sizes, links that are self-explanatory, among others.
When company communications are planned with diverse needs in mind, it is possible to reach a larger audience, to make more people feel included and respected, to increase participation and trust in the brand, and to obtain better results.