Integrating digital accessibility into your DEI strategy isn’t going to be a “nice to have” for workplaces. It is going to become a must-have.
When thinking about the rapid changes in who we hire, how we hire, and the opportunities available, ensuring equal access for all in the workplace should be one of your major focuses. The necessity goes beyond lip service, websites and apps, or even a few training sessions here. The impact of your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives needs to be felt on a broader scale – including in your HR digitization initiatives.
The importance of digital accessibility in the context of your DEI Strategy cannot be overstated, even if many don’t know how to do it. By embracing digital accessibility as an integral part of your DEI Strategy, organizations can bridge the digital divide, empowering individuals of all abilities and creating a more equitable and inclusive digital landscape.
Simply put: your DEI Strategy should be DEIA: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility.
To learn more about digital accessibility and your DEI strategy, keep reading. For those interested in a deeper dive, you can watch the on-demand webinar with our partner, Zenyth.
Digital Accessibility is the practice of making your digital content usable by everyone, including people with disabilities. Digital accessibility levels the playing field, breaks down barriers, and fosters a more inclusive digital environment. Whether it’s a website, mobile application, or other digital platform, ensuring that it can be navigated and comprehended by individuals with disabilities is not just a noble goal, but a fundamental human right.
In the pursuit of a digitally inclusive world, there are 3 key pillars:
Integrating digital accessibility into your organization’s overall DEI strategy is crucial as it impacts all aspects of the business, beyond just customer-facing elements. Part of your DEI strategy should include ensuring accessibility in the employment process, marketing, and product development.
Creating an accessible employment process is a vital part of your DEI strategy. It creates an environment where everyone, regardless of their abilities, can engage, contribute, and grow. It allows individuals with disabilities to participate and perform effectively. An inclusive and accessible employment process invites a broader range of candidates, sets the tone for their experiences in the organization, and reflects your organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
To ensure your employment process is accessible throughout recruitment, onboarding, and career development, these four things are crucial.
A part of your DEI strategy should include updating all policies, communications, and resources surrounding accessibility within the employment lifecycle. This shows a commitment to diversity and inclusion that goes beyond compliance.
Ensuring your marketing initiatives are accessible is another way to integrate digital accessibility into your DEI Strategy. Accessible marketing is the use of inclusive design practices that make it possible for users of all abilities to fully experience the company’s brand, receive and understand communication, and take advantage of opportunities to engage with and become fans of the brand, services, or products.
Creating accessible marketing materials and websites is not just about reaching a wider audience; they’re about creating engaging and equitable experiences. Your marketing should meet the needs of various disabilities, including impairments in mobility, vision, hearing, speech, and cognition. For example, hearing-impaired individuals require captions for video and audio materials.
Some best practices to ensure digital marketing accessibility include:
Integrating digital accessibility into product development is a strategic alignment with your DEI strategy. Designing products that are accessible to all ensures that you cater to a diverse customer base. Here are several best practices to achieve digital accessibility in your product development process.
Similar to marketing processes, your product should be keyboard accessible, implement responsive design, and provide captions and transcriptions for any audio and video content within the product. Remember, integrating digital accessibility into your DEI strategy is not just about expanding your reach; it’s about creating products that resonate with the values of inclusivity and accessibility.
In the pursuit of an inclusive workplace and customer experience, the recruitment and onboarding processes, marketing and website content, and product development are critical touchpoints in integrating digital accessibility into your DEI strategy. Maintaining accessibility in the workplace is not a one-time effort; it’s a continuous journey. Our partner, Zenyth, is committed to supporting organizations in this ongoing endeavor, ensuring that accessibility remains at the forefront of the workplace experience. Reach out to Zenyth to provide a website audit, and assist in creating accessible media, design, or development.