Creating an inclusive workplace at Texthelp

"We chose to partner with AbilityNet due to its wide range of training services. Not only did the AbilityNet team meet to discuss all of the options, but they took time to understand our context and our needs, and offered a personalised webinar option.” - Claire Brereton, Learning & Development Consultant at Texthelp

TextHelp logo - including pink animal icon
Texthelp, a software solution provider that supports inclusion and accessibility for all, is passionate about being a role model for an inclusive workplace. It contacted AbilityNet as a training partner that could provide engaging and thought-provoking workshops about inclusion.

It was also vital for Texthelp that the sessions could be delivered online and at scale due to the global nature of its workforce. 

Learning how to create an inclusive workplace

Profile images of Adam, Ghizzi, and Adi.Building on the success of AbilityNet's Don't Disable Me Lived Experience series of training, a panel was formed to help advise Texthelp on workplace inclusion.

This panel included both Adam Tweed, Innovation Consultant for Education and Workplace, and Adi Latif, Usability Consultant, from AbilityNet, and Ghizzi Dunlop, Digital Accessibility Consultant with AbilityNet and Learning Technologist at the University of the West of England. 

Adam, Adi, and Ghizzi were able to share workplace inclusion advice and tips from their own lived experiences with sight loss, hearing loss, neurodivergence, and mental health.

The training session included 125 Texthelp employees, which accounted for more than one-third of Texthelp's global workforce. The session was held on Microsoft Teams, which allowed all attendees to use Teams' automatic captions, chat (which participants could mute), and the 'Raise your hand' feature, allowing participants to grab the speaker's attention among a large group. 

A person sat at a table, waving to someone on their laptop. Slido was used as a mechanism to answer questions during the session, as it offers the opportunity for Texthelp employees to ask questions anonymously about workplace inclusion.

A slide deck displayed the question being discussed, and when answering questions the trainers ensured they were on camera. Captioned, accessible video clips were also used during the session. 

Texthelp staff learned tips, advice, and language dos and don'ts that they can now apply at work.

Feedback from the session was overwhelmingly positive, with one Texthelp employee saying "This session today has filled my heart and soul to the brim! Adam, Ghizzi, and Adi are inspiring, humorous and informative."

Other employees also shared this view, by describing the session as "insightful, eye-opening, and inspiring.” 

"We hope having these open and honest conversations will help us take another step forward in becoming an even better place to work, and look forward to partnering more with AbilityNet in the future." - Claire Brereton, Learning & Development Consultant at Texthelp

Advice for improving inclusion in the workplace 

Accessibility training enables you to start a conversation within your workplace and create an inclusive environment for your employees. 

The panel discussion from Adam, Adi, and Ghizzi helped Texthelp place accessibility and inclusion firmly front of mind for their global workforce. "Since the event, we have held follow-up internal training sessions on how we could be even more inclusive, and continue to include accessibility training in our onboarding processes. In fact, all new hires are encouraged to watch the recording of the panel discussion," says Claire Brereton, Learning & Development Consultant at Texthelp.

The training session also changed the way that Texthelp approaches conversations about accessibility and inclusion. For example, waiting to be asked for assistance rather than assuming a disabled colleague requires it, and being more understanding when someone is having a bad day with their mental health. 

"For anyone considering training on accessibility and inclusion, we would highly recommend choosing AbilityNet. Not only do participants walk away more informed about disabilities and small actions we can take to make workplaces more accessible and inclusive, but you also get to start a really important conversation internally about what more can be done," says Claire.

"For those just starting out on their accessibility and inclusion journey, generating awareness and open conversation - with a credible and professional partner - is a great first step," continues Claire.

How AbilityNet can help

If you're unsure as to where you are currently on the employee inclusion journey, AbilityNet's GAP analysis can be a great place to start.

The process will help you build and set a baseline for inclusive practices at different stages in the employee lifecycle and build a roadmap of improvements for the future. 

A taster of lived experience advice from AbilityNet's experts

Don't Disable Me: Learn how to create an inclusive workplace with on-demand training:

Start your accessibility journey - speak to our experts

Do you need help with digital accessibility at your organisation? We offer tailored accessibility and usability support to clients from all sectors.

Speak to our experts about your project and we will advise on a bespoke accessibility strategy to meet your specific requirements.