Shouldering the responsibility of making your website accessible to people living with disabilities is a large, and unending task.
Many organizations work to develop internal processes which focus their efforts on mitigating the largest areas of liability towards public-facing web pages and documents.
But it’s also important to keep in mind that, as workplaces become more inclusive, your organization will need to provide accessible communications for employees who live with disabilities, as well.
Employees who use devices such as screen readers, speech recognition software and modified mouses and keyboards deserve equal access to internal company information under accessibility legislation. But it’s also important to keep in mind that providing accessible communication as a best practice improves access for all employees and assists in your company’s talent attraction and retention strategies.
We encourage you to consider the following common modes of internal communication for accessibility.
- Intranet Web Site: Most companies use internal websites to relay policy and procedural changes. They also use them to facilitate employee communication in other ways, such as for events and after work activities. NOTE: Access to bulletin board-style postings can be especially problematic to screen reader users.
- Emails: Emails may become problematic for employees living with disabilities if the content is too dense and prohibits easy comprehension for people living with cognitive disabilities, or if the format is prohibitive for device access. Consider training for staff to address accessible email needs, such as how to tag images for non-visual access and sending plain text versus HTML messages.
- Printed Materials: Meeting agendas, notes and other informational materials that are offered only in printed form will inevitably leave out employees who live with certain disability types. Consider implementing policies which foster accessibility practices, and offer training on how to make documents such as meeting agendas accessible, as a part of new and current employee training.