Disabilities

Group of young co-workers gathered together.

Accessibility Design

Accessibility

Accessibility—what is it and why should you care?

When you speak to someone, the hope is that they receive your communication and understand it.

In life, like on the web, there are ways of helping your communications reach their intended recipients.

Why bother with accessibility?

Why bother with designing for accessibility? Do you have the time to worry about everything? Of course not, but it is in your best interest to learn how to create accessibility.

Actually, about 26%—that is one in four—Americans live with a disability. Can you afford NOT to try to share your message, your event, your words, images, and thoughts with them?

Do well by doing good

What if I told you that you can do well by doing good? That by taking small, thoughtful steps to help make things accessible to people with hearing or visual disabilities, you will be increasing your market share? You will also be raising your search engine visibility.

One way to think of alternative descriptions is like an extra tag or sign on an item at the store. So if you were looking for snack foods, but wanted gluten-free, this would help you find it better and faster.

Everyone on social media talks about the algorithm or feeding the algorithm. To put it bluntly, why wouldn’t you want to add extra descriptions to your content—your story, your picture, your music?

What I recently learned from Google

Google recently offered an online course through SCORE. It was simple and sweet. Here are the basic takeaways:

  1. Optimizing your content will help people find you.
  2. Google will reward optimization by increasing your SEO ranking.
  3. You will make the world better by being inclusive.
  4. On top of all that, it will help you lessen your legal risk.

Why do I even care about all of this? Because of the nature of what we do at Handy Entertainment we see that accessibility is not just good business–it is fundamental. By being nimble, we create much more impact by reaching people where they are, by including them. Inclusion is not just about wheelchair accessibility. It is not about having Braille available. Inclusion is about welcoming people wherever they are and providing them with the tools to participate.

Here are some accessibility elements for digital content design.

Accessibility design techniques for digital content design.

Please share your thoughts on accessibility in your industry.

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Handicap Parking

Changing Minds and Hearts

DisabilitySensitivity Training

Changing Minds and Hearts

Disability Awareness

Changing minds and hearts through doing sounds hard. Is it really? While you read this, think about the time and effort that went into the steps leading up to the final action.

One Family’s Experience

A family I know has a severely disabled adult child who lives in a care facility. In front of the facility is a handicap parking space which is clearly marked. The family is dependent on the parking space to get their daughter to- and from her home and in- and out of their vehicle safely. 

A car that didn’t have a handicap parking permit repeatedly parked in the space. 

One Step at a Time

The family left a note for the car owner. The car was there again the next time. Then, they notified the authorities and had the car ticketed. It didn’t change anything—the car was there again when they went to use the space. Then they had the vehicle booted–same results. Finally, they had the car towed, several times. It was to no avail— the car continued to be parked in the handicap space. The family researched the vehicle owners address.

The next time they picked up their daughter, they went for a walk with her in her wheelchair to the vehicle owner’s home. There, they pressed the buzzer for the apartment. The person answered and they asked if he had a moment to chat. He invited them up to his fourth floor walk up. They replied that they couldn’t because of the wheelchair and asked if he could come down. He said, “Yes,” and came downstairs.

Help People Understand

They explained where their daughter lived and asked him if he’d go on a walk with them. He agreed. After a little while they asked him if he could push the wheelchair, which he did. They also needed to feed their daughter and give her something to drink – all which was not as easy as it sounds. While they walked, they explained to him why they needed access to that parking spot – to be able to get their daughter in and out of their vehicle safely. They asked him if he would not park there. He has never parked in that space again. 

What Does This Have To Do with Handy Entertainment?

We create and produce entertainment that makes a difference. We have a pretty good understanding of disabilities, but are always learning. We love to help people find their passion and to create jobs where they excel.

Most important of all–if you’re having an event and want to make it truly accessible, give us a call.

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