When I look back over my posts I realise that I have written quite a lot about accessible information, but never described what I mean by the term or expanded on the people who need it. So here goes.
Of course everyone needs accessible information. But there are groups of people who encounter particular barriers when accessing information.
Information is accessible when it is readily available to diverse audiences in ways which they can understand and use. It is presented in a range of formats and styles to people who are print-disabled. They may or may not use a range of specialist technologies.
Print-disabled people are those who are; blind, or have low vision, or who have dyslexia or other related impairments. They may be hearing impaired or Deaf. People who physically can’t hold a book or paper, or who have difficulties processing the written word are also print-disabled.
Others may have poor education for a variety of reasons. They may have learning disabilities, brain injury, dementia or short attention span and/or memory or other mental health problems. People on particular medication may find concentrating on print difficult. They may have one or a combination of several impairments.
People with poor literacy or people who do not have English as their first language may also welcome many aspects of accessible information, as long as it is not stigmatised,
Now that I have given some context to accessible information, I will focus on some of the basics in future blogs.
Making your organisation’s information accessible to everyone needs thought and planning. An accessible web site is always a great start, but that could be part of a more effective wider communications strategy relating closely to organisational goals and purpose.
Accessible information needs to be:
- User focused
Each of these points will be developed and explored in future posts.