Every time we hear about accessibility in companies, the first thought that comes to mind is “It must be so expensive!”. Well, the truth is: when adaptations for people with disabilities are planned and incorporated into the project, spending on accessibility is no more than 0.2% of the overall spending. Even when adaptations are necessary, their price compared to the initial project is very small – but they make a huge difference in the lives of those who depend on them to interact socially.
Investing in accessibility is not only an indispensable requirement for companies to be in compliance with the law, but it is also one of the characteristics of the company of the future, that understands its space in society and realizes the need to adapt to become more and more inclusive. And this is not only true for your employees, from the door in, but also in your attitude towards your customers, from the door out!
That is why we brought five tips for you to invest in accessibility without losing your mind or blowing your budget!
Planning is really the key to success for large companies. Having specific goals and outlining a plan to achieve them is an old recipe, but if followed to the letter, it always works. Projects with a beginning, middle, and end, such as adaptations for accessibility, should be followed in the same way. And if they are, they tend to spend less and are completed on time.
Understand what kind of adaptation you want to make. If you are still building or starting your business, opt for the complete package. Understand what the physical adaptations are, what you will need to adapt in the structure, then understand if your employees are prepared to serve and/or work with people with disabilities. Is your intranet accessible in the Sign Language of your customers? Do you have career plans adapted for people with intellectual disabilities? These are some questions that, if asked when planning, will make the result much more lasting and efficient.
If you were not able to make the adaptations right at the beginning, don’t be discouraged! Understand first what your need is and make a plan based on that. You can categorize it in many different ways – by types of disability or types of adaptations. See what is in your budget and do it, even if slowly but surely. The main question is: how do you get your company’s message across in the most efficient and accessible way? And in the architectural area, do you have a large store or space that welcomes people to demonstrate your products and services? Or do you have a website and your message is much more communication oriented? It is important to understand how to get this message across in the best way.
Not only when it comes to passing on the message of accessibility and looking for tips, but the range of technological solutions used as tools for accessibility is immense and varied.
For all these reasons, there is no way I could not give this tip: use and abuse of technological resources for accessibility. And don’t disown your digital identity! It is very important that everyone finds you on the Internet, and for that to happen, your message must be clear and accessible.
It is normal not to understand much about accessibility, especially if there is no one with disabilities in our circle of friends or family. We usually try to run away from things we don’t know, or find obstacles to things that don’t affect us directly. And this is why our fourth tip is: talk to a specialist.
Today, Accessibility Consulting is a very specific kind of consulting, but there are many professionals who provide this kind of service, whether in the architectural area, in the area of digital accessibility or in training for employees within the company. The diagnosis of what needs to be done is often free and is the first (essential) step to start adaptations within your company.
Getting informed on the subject is also cool, and knowledge is never too much! For this, you can always count on our blog.
When it comes to talking about accessibility, intention is not all that matters. Poor quality materials or projects, unprofessional audio description or poor quality Sign Language translation can hinder rather than help. What really counts when it comes to adapting your company for accessibility is how committed you are to making a difference and the quality of that change.
An accessible company attracts people who need accessibility, the organization becomes a reference in the medium and is recognized. For this to happen, besides appearing accessible, it must be, in fact.