Tips on how to draft your accessibility action plan

The AbilityNet Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM) is a free, open-source tool that helps organisations assess their digital accessibility maturity and develop a plan for improvement. The self-service version of the DAMM provides a comprehensive guide to help you get started, including information on the different stages of the process, the stakeholders to engage, and how to set achievable actions. 

By identifying your strengths and areas for improvement in your digital accessibility journey, you can effectively draft an accessibility action plan that propels your organisation towards a future where everyone can seamlessly engage with your digital services and products.   

Once you have used the DAMM to assess your organisation's digital accessibility maturity and identify areas for improvement, you can begin planning a roadmap by drafting your accessibility action plan.

What's an accessibility action plan?

Accessibility action plans are documents that outline the steps you need to take to improve the accessibility of your digital products and services. They should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.

Group of people looking at crosses and a target underneath themExample of an accessibility action plan

Let's take the concept of 'vision' as an illustrative example. If your website lacks an accessibility statement, you're currently operating at Level 1, indicating an informal approach to accessibility. To progress to Level 2, a recommended action would be to create an accessibility statement for both your website and app.

This is a simple example.  

At times the next step for your particular situation may not be so direct and may involve intermediary steps, which you can write as recommended actions. 

You can reach out to stakeholders as you draft the recommendations to ensure they’re realistic and achievable. You may also need to discuss and secure a budget for some actions, such as providing training or new testing tools. 

The key is to set achievable short to mid-term goals. These bite-sized milestones will not only keep you on track but also foster a sense of accomplishment as you witness tangible progress. 

A simple example of this accessibility action plan may look like this:  

Current level: Level 1 (informal accessibility vision)

Goal: Move to Level 2 (formal accessibility vision)

Recommendation: Create an accessibility statement for your website and app. 

Timeline: 6 months 

Budget: £1,000 

Stakeholders: Web team, marketing team 

Icons of a lightbulb, target with an arrow, a document with a magnifying glass and a graphNext steps:

  • Meet with the web team and marketing team to discuss the accessibility statement.
  • Develop a draft of the accessibility statement.
  • Get feedback from the web team and marketing team.
  • Revise the accessibility statement.
  • Publish the accessibility statement on your website and app.

Tips to crafting your accessibility action plan 

  1. Assess your current accessibility maturity level. Utilise the AbilityNet Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM) to identify your strengths and areas for improvement. 
     
  2. Prioritise actions based on impact and feasibility. Focus on actions that will have the greatest impact on improving accessibility for your users, while also considering the resources and expertise available within your organisation. 
     
  3. Set realistic timelines for each action. Avoid overwhelming yourself with overly ambitious timelines. Instead, break down larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks with realistic deadlines. 
     
  4. Assign ownership and accountability for each action. Clearly define who is responsible for each action, ensuring that there is clear ownership and accountability throughout the process. 
     
  5. Regularly review and update your plan. As your organisation's accessibility journey progresses, regularly revisit your action plan to assess progress, adjust, and incorporate new learnings. 

Remember, accessibility is not a one-off project but an ongoing commitment. By embracing a continuous improvement mindset and actively involving stakeholders, you can effectively navigate your accessibility roadmap, creating a digital environment that welcomes and empowers all users. 

Get help from AbilityNet 

If you would like assistance with any of the areas that the process has identified as requiring action, our DAMM experts are available to help. Contact us to express your interest in facilitated help in progressing with the DAMM.

TechShare Pro 2023: Championing Digital Accessibility, AI, and the Business Case for Inclusivity

More than 150 thought leaders, technology experts, and advocates from around the UK, Europe and the world will come together at AbilityNet TechShare Pro - Europe’s premier technology conference dedicated to digital accessibility and inclusivity - on 14-15 November. 

AbilityNet TechShare Pro 2023 logoThe conference serves as a crucial platform for innovation and knowledge sharing in the realm of digital accessibility, with industry change leader HSBC joining as headline sponsor as well as tech giants Google, Microsoft, Intuit, and Sony participating as leading sponsors.

It promises to be an exciting and informative conference, featuring keynote presentations, panel discussions, workshops, and live demonstrations that will delve into the latest developments and trends in digital accessibility and inclusivity. Attendees will gain valuable insights into how AI is transforming the landscape and the benefits of prioritizing accessible design.

Mark Walker, Head of Marketing and Communications at AbilityNet said: “Now in its seventh year AbilityNet TechShare Pro fosters a better understanding of digital accessibility and inclusivity, addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities. As well as business, social and education benefits it will explore how advances in AI can make technology more user-friendly for everyone.

We’re thrilled to be hosted by headline sponsor and industry change leader HSBC, as well as leading sponsors and tech experts Google, Microsoft, Intuit and Sony -- signaling the growing importance of digital accessibility across organisations and industries.”

 

Book your place for TechShare Pro 2023

Partners and change leaders: HSBC, Google, Microsoft, Intuit, Sony, and Apple 

The conference will delve into the compelling business case for accessibility, emphasizing the financial and social benefits of prioritizing inclusivity. Keynote speakers include HSBC UK Chief Executive Officer Ian Stuart, Microsoft Chief Commercial Officer Judson Althof and Mel Edwards, Global President, VML.

Mark Walker added: “By featuring experts and success stories from Microsoft and the C-Suite from across industry, attendees will gain valuable insights into the advantages of creating accessible technology products and services.”

HSBC, a globally recognized financial institution, takes center stage as the headline sponsor of AbilityNet TechShare Pro 2023.

Their commitment to driving inclusivity and supporting accessible technology resonates strongly with the conference's core mission.

Mali Fernando, Group Head of Digital Experience and Accessibility at HSBC, commented: “Technology has the power to transform not only how we do business, but the lives of our customers and the wider communities we serve. We are actively championing and investing in digital accessibility and AI, because we believe that everyone should have equal access to the digital world.

“Collaboration across sectors is key, and so we're incredibly excited to part of this year’s outstanding lineup of thought leaders and changemakers at AbilityNet TechShare Pro. By sharing on the opportunities and challenges we’re facing, we aim to accelerate innovation across our industry and beyond – creating a more inclusive future for people the world over, where innovation knows no boundaries.”

In addition to HSBC, AbilityNet TechShare Pro 2023 is proud to have the support of several leading sponsors: Google, Microsoft, Intuit and Sony.

Secure your place at TechShare Pro 2023! 

Registration for AbilityNet TechShare Pro 2023 is now open. This event is anticipated to draw experts, professionals, and advocates for digital accessibility from around the world. Don't miss the opportunity to be part of this important conference that advances the cause of digital inclusivity. 

Book your place today

Further resources

Five ways to achieve success with your accessibility strategy

AbilityNet and Deque Systems recently brought together a small number of accessibility leaders to share their experiences and challenges at invite-only round table events in June 2023. Participants spent the morning in round table discussions and the afternoon touring Google's Accessibility Discovery Centre in London. 

Five ways to achieve success in your accessibility strategy 

The round table event discussion focused on five key factors that drive success in accessibility: 

1. Having a senior champion for accessibility within an organisation
This could be a person or a team who is responsible for driving accessibility initiatives within the organisation. The champion should have a good understanding of accessibility and be able to communicate its importance to others. 

2. Education and training on accessibility across an organisation  
Everyone in the organisation should have some basic understanding of accessibility, from the CEO to the interns. This will help to ensure that accessibility is considered at all stages of the development process.  
 
3. Having clear accessibility and inclusion policies and procedures in place
These policies should define the organisation's commitment to accessibility and outline how it will be achieved. They should also be communicated to everyone in the organisation so that they know what is expected of them. 
 
4. The need for regular accessibility auditing and testing
This is essential to ensure that the organisation's products and services are accessible to everyone. Audits should be conducted by qualified professionals and the results should be used to identify and fix any accessibility issues.

5. Involving disabled people in processes and decision-making  
Disabled people are the experts on their own experiences, so their input is essential to ensuring that accessibility is effective. They should be involved in the development of policies, procedures, and training materials, as well as in the auditing and testing of products and services. 

The Round Tables are hosted by Mark Walker of AbilityNet, who hosts TechSHare Pro and has worked with numerous clients to use the AbilityNet Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM) to create accessibility strategies.

Matthew Luken, former Head of Accessibility at US Bank and a key member of Deque's strategy services team, also helped facilitate the discussions. Known for his passion for metrics, Matthew offered a data-driven perspective on the landscape of digital accessibility.

“As you plan for 2024, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to take a different tack – like the sailing analogies you’ll hear later – or to double back to achieve your goals”, says Mark.  “Communication, understanding, and common objectives are critical for an organisation to achieve success in digital accessibility.”

Matthew adds “With good Storytelling techniques, and the data you have on hand, you can gain agreement and alignment with other internal stakeholders on where your digital properties are with conformance now, and where you are trying to get to in 2024”.

Matthew and Mark also chatted for our podcast! Access the episode below and the transcript to learn more about his background, Deque, and the round table events. 

If you are interested in attending one of our round table events in 2024 and for more information, reach out to Mark Walker, Head of Marketing & Portfolio of AbilityNet at mark.walker@abilitynet.org.uk 

Other ways AbilityNet is working to build a stronger accessibility community

We offer a range of free webinars, blogs and factsheets on digital accessibility. Watch our free webinar with Deque on How will Artificial Intelligence change accessibility testing?

We provide expert consultancy and services to organisations on how to help make their digital products and services more accessible.

We encourage everyone to get involved in the accessibility community. There are many ways to do this, such as volunteering, attending events, or simply sharing knowledge and resources. By working together, we can make a real difference in accessibility.

Are you an accessibility leader or a laggard? Survey reveals clear divide

Two women smiling looking at laptop in informal setting. Text reads: Attitudes to Digital Accessibility Survey 2023 results report. A global survey of 350+ Accessibility professionals and their alliesA global survey conducted by AbilityNet shows a clear divide between those organisations who are prioritising digital accessibility and those who are lagging behind.

The findings of our Attitudes to Digital Accessibility survey 2023 indicate that organisations need to review where they ‘sit’ on the scale of accessibility leaders and accessibility laggards - otherwise the accessibility leaders will reap the benefits of their investment in accessibility, such as more inclusive workforces and increased customer satisfaction. 

Delving into the leader characteristics

The survey was completed during September 2023 by 363 people from around the world, and we launched the report of its findings in a live webinar on 31 October.

Open Inclusion, a disability and age-inclusive research, design and innovation agency, worked with AbilityNet to analyse the survey results both this year and in 2022. 

Christine Hemphill speaking in room live on webinarChristine Hemphill, Open Inclusion's CEO, spoke on the webinar to discuss the findings, alongside fellow guest speaker Christopher Lee, Managing Director of IAAP (International Association of Accessibility Professionals).

"What we mean by 'leaders' is across the various characteristics of the questions, vision, leadership capability and procurement there are some ahead on a number of or all of them, and many characteristics or some that are falling behind or less confident on a range of elements," says Christine, describing what constitutes an 'accessibility leader' from the survey results analysis.

Download the survey report

Get the survey report

A summary PDF and a more detailed Word version are available to download.

Benchmark your accessibility

Respondents to the survey were asked to feedback on five key areas:

  1. Vision
  2. Leadership
  3. Processes
  4. Capability
  5. Procurement

The survey structure reflects five key topics covered in AbilityNet's Digital Accessibility Maturity Model.

If you're wondering if your organisation is more laggard than leader, or where your organisation fares on the accessibility scale, use the simple, five-part model to help build a picture of your current strengths and weaknesses and identify a roadmap for next steps.

Further analysis of the data from the 2023 survey results indicates that organisations are perhaps not keeping up with improvements in digital accessibility.
For example, fewer respondents in 2023 agreed with the statement ‘My organisation has a clearly stated vision about digital accessibility’ compared to 2022 (39% agreed strongly or slightly in 2023 compared to 49% in 2022).

And in 2023, 43% of respondents observed that digital accessibility was a very high or high priority for their senior management/leadership team (compared to 45% in 2022).

Download the report for the full analysis of what the data tells us.

Topical questions considered: HR, AI and User Research

In this year’s survey we also introduced questions about topical developments within digital accessibility and inclusion including:

  • Environmental, Social, & Governance (ESG)
  • Budgets
  • Human Resources 
  • User Research 
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Across the new questions, results were mixed. For example, many who shared an opinion on the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) were largely positive. And on the topic of budgets, experiences varied about whether budgets for maintaining digital accessibility have been slashed or boosted.

When asked about user testing with disabled audiences, despite its benefits, our research this year has shown that organisations are not regularly using this valuable and illuminating testing option. 

There also appear to be gaps in how organisations are communicating or conveying accessible recruitment practices and the department’s accessibility processes in general to their staff. 

This indicates a significant opportunity for organisations to share positive accessibility attitudes and activities within its internal staffing systems, to broaden awareness and encourage best practices.

Set of quotes from slide lifted from report. Text reads: Please describe in your own words the barriers you face in your role when delivering digital accessibility? "Our accessibility teams are siloed and not coordinated centrally, with no central support for training." - and " We have a maturing accessibility practice, however, we constantly encounter people within the business who do not understand the value proposition and push back" - and "The engagement from senior management has been low, they say the right things but in action they produce inaccessible documents."Barriers to delivering accessibility

Some of the survey questions were open-ended and uncovered insightful detail into the realities of the barriers faced by many of those who try to champion accessibility at their organisations.

Here is a selection of responses to being asked: Please describe in your own words the barriers you face in your role when delivering digital accessibility?:

  • "Our accessibility teams are siloed and not coordinated centrally, with no central support for training."
  • "We have a maturing accessibility practice, however, we constantly encounter people within the business who do not understand the value proposition and push back."
  • "The engagement from senior management has been low, they say the right things but in action they produce inaccessible documents."

A year on: "Broadly unchanged" but with a few significant shiftsGroup of people sitting in meeting room engaged in meeting discussion

Overall, the key survey metrics remain broadly unchanged between the analysis of responses in 2022 and 2023, with the exception of some of the areas outlined in the reports you can download

This indicates that despite a changing environment, with new legislation due to come into place in the US, Europe and Australia, an increasing consumer awareness of the value and importance of disability inclusion, and the older population rapidly accruing access needs, this has not led to a change in urgency of improving digital accessibility. 

These results clearly show there is more to be done within organisations to make swift improvements to digital accessibility.

Digital accessibility is not just a moral imperative, it is also a business imperative. Organisations that prioritise accessibility are better positioned to succeed in the marketplace.

If your organisation is an accessibility laggard, it is time to take action.

Person standing in foreground of large informal group meeting, with arms folded and smile on faceHow your organisation can become an accessibility leader

1. Get senior buy-in. Accessibility needs to be a top-down priority.

2. Develop a clear strategy. What do you want to achieve? How will you measure your progress?

3. Invest in resources and training. Accessibility is not a one-person job. You need to have a team of people with the skills and knowledge to make your digital products and services accessible.

4. Implement a process to ensure accessibility is considered at every stage of the development process and built in to HR processes to ensure all staff understand the need to maintain accessibility.

5. Get feedback from disabled people. The best way to ensure your digital products and services are accessible is to get feedback from the people who will be using them.

Further resources:

Disability Inclusion Insights: the Workplace Inclusion Podcast

By providing training, support, and resources, we want to help address the disability employment gap and support workplaces to become more accessible and inclusive for all. Lizi Green and Adam Tweed profile images

We are thrilled to unveil our latest venture, the Disability Inclusion Insights series, a captivating new addition to The AbilityNet podcast. This series is designed to take you on an incredible disability inclusion journey, offering a unique blend of knowledge and inspiration. Prepare to embark on a thought-provoking adventure as we delve deep into captivating workplace topics and share lived experienced stories.

Join Lizi Green and Adam Tweed, our expert Digital Inclusion Consultants, as they engage with brilliant minds in workplace disability inclusion from across industries and around the world. We find out about their career path and ask them to share their top tips for building inclusion within an organisation.

Guest Lineup:

Disability Inclusion Insights features a stellar lineup of guests, ranging from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) leaders to HR and operations professionals, Accessibility Champions and everything in between. The podcast series aims to empower and educate our audience to foster inclusion in workplaces. Get ready to challenge your assumptions, broaden your horizons, and embark on a journey of inspiration and workplace inclusion growth. 

First episode: Maria Grazia Zedda, High Speed Two (HS2)Maria Grazia Zedda, smiling at the camera

Maria Grazia Zedda, the senior quality and diversity inclusion manager for the workforce at High Speed Two (HS2) - available now via Spotify, Apple and Google Podcasts, Podbean and more.

Access the episode 

 

Second epsiode: Rosa Salamone, Boots UK

Rosa Salamone, Process Manager for SAP Procurement at Boots UK, joins Lizi and Adam to share the various initiatives that Boots UK has undertaken to champion disability inclusivity in the workplace.

Access the episode

 

Third episode:  Claire Jones, ClearTalentsProfile image of Claire Jones

Claire Jones, Director at ClearTalents, joins Lizi and Adam to discuss how to create an inclusive workplace, the importance of reasonable adjustments, and how technology is driving disability inclusion.

Access the episode

Sign up for our enewsletter to be the first to know when the next podcast episode goes live!

We encourage you to share your thoughts, ask questions, and suggest topics for future episodes. Connect with us on social media platforms:

You might also be interested in our upcoming free webinar on Tuesday 25 July at 1pm BST on How to make remote and hybrid work accessible for every employee. Register for the webinar today.

Is your current ways of working inclusive? 

Our expert workplace consultants can help you to gauge your organisation’s current cultural state and work with you to prioritise which improvements will have the greatest immediate impact which will form the roadmap for your ongoing disability inclusion journey. 

With our Disability Inclusion Gap Analysis, we can help you look at your stages of the inclusion journey: Recruitment, Onboarding, Ways of Working, Career Development and Customer Facing. You can choose to focus on the individual stages that are most relevant to you or combine them all. Get started on your journey today by booking a free 15-minute consultation. 


AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help disabled people and older people. If you can afford it, please donate to help us support older and disabled people through technology

Free workshops to teach digital skills to older people

BT Group in partnership with AbilityNet logoHow can I encourage my older relative to learn how to use their phone more effectively?

Where can I direct my elderly client to get support with using tech?

How do I get help setting up my laptop to a printer?

If any of these questions are on your mind, AbilityNet can help.

Two men sitting at laptop smiling, in cafeAttend a Digital Skills session

Research has shown that older people are less likely than other age groups to regularly use digital devices or go online.

As part of our partnership with telecommunications company BT Group we're delighted to announce the opportunity for individuals and groups in a range of areas across the UK to take part in free workshops, which aim to improve the digital skills of older and digitally excluded people. 

Sessions are now available in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and London*.

"Informative and very helpful. Very patient." - attendee from a session at a residential home

If you are an individual aged 65 years old or over and could benefit from digital skills training, or if you work with older people in an organisation or charity in the regions outlined, apply now for the free training workshops.

Apply for Digital Skills training

Choose from the following sessions, or request a bespoke training session for your group or for an individual. You can have sessions in a communal space or at home:

  • An Introduction to Tech
  • An Introduction to the Internet
  • Getting to know your Smartphone or Tablet
  • Staying Safe Online
  • Getting started with Email
  • Using Social Media, e.g. Facebook
  • Online entertainment, e.g. watching TV online
  • How to access Public Services e.g. Gov.UK
  • Downloading Apps: Android
  • Downloading Apps: Apple
  • How to make a video call
  • How to manage your health online
  • How to bank online
  • How to shop online
  • Using a computer for documents

You can also access a Factsheet and Jargon Buster alongside the sessions.

Plus, you may also be interested in BT Group's How to boost your online skills: learner factsheets.

Improve digital accessibility skills in your organisation

Find out how you can avoid creating barriers for disabled people with our affordable, high quality training options including online courses, group workshops and eLearning.

Book your disability training

Support for people in other regions

If you need to boost your digital skills, please call AbilityNet's free tech helpline: 0800 048 7642 (open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm) or check out our other support options:

*The locations for the ‘Senior Skills Programme’ were chosen based on a growing demand for tech support among older people aged 65+ in these areas and we expect to help more than 1,000 people via the sessions.

Corporate social responsibility
Is your organisation looking for a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partner? Your business and its staff can volunteer to support your local communities.

Six LinkedIn accessibility features that help disabled people

As a marketing specialist at AbilityNet it’s exciting to see LinkedIn announce new accessibility tools that make it easier for disabled people to get the best from the platform's articles. 

As well as helping find jobs, build their professional network, and learn about new opportunities LinkedIn is also a vital way for organisations such as AbilityNet to gather and share useful resources and information. The new LinkedIn tools include:

  1. Content Isolation: Declutter your reading experience by focusing solely on the content that matters to you and isolating the main text from distractions. 
  2. Picture Display for Common Words: Comprehend articles with picture cues for frequently used words. 
  3. Speech Highlights: Follow along by using dynamic speech highlights that help you read with clarity. 
  4. Syllable Splitting: Break down complex words into syllables, making it easier to grasp and pronounce new terms. 
  5. Real-Time Translations: Active instant translations designed to help overcome language barriers. 
  6. Text to Speech: Consume information audibly as articles are read aloud. 

A person using a smart phone with the screen displaying the LinkedIn logoThese tools will help all users on LinkedIn, but it will especially help people who are dyslexic, and people who are blind or have visual impairments.

They'll also be useful to people learning English or who prefer to consume content in a different language. And they'll help anyone who finds it difficult to learn from long or complex posts. 

How content creators can use these new features

The marketing team at AbilityNet uses LinkedIn as a key way to share digital accessibility resources with our followers. Knowing that our users have access to features to help them consume content in a way that fits their needs, is welcoming and exciting news but also makes sure we reach as many people as possible. 

As well as being familiar with the built-in tools, there are many other ways we make our LinkedIn content more accessible, such as:  

  • Use clear and concise language
  • Add alt text to images
  • Provide captions or transcripts for videos
  • Use the new accessibility tools to test your content

By following these tips, anyone can make their LinkedIn content more accessible, more engaging and reach a bigger audience. 

Remember that creating accessible digital content is an ongoing process, and staying informed about best practices and guidelines is essential to ensure your content remains inclusive for all users. Visit our Accessible Content Resources hub.

Learn more accessible social media 

Three ways to deliver accessible, inclusive recruitment

In today's increasingly competitive marketplace, it's more important than ever for organisations to attract and retain the best talent. That means creating a recruitment process that is accessible and inclusive to all candidates.

AbilityNet will be attending the In House Recruitment Expo Summit on 17 October to share key tips on how to make your recruitment process more accessible. 

Read on to find out three ways every organisation can deliver accessible, inclusive recruitment:

Graphic of a woman sitting at a laptop. Behind her are 3 oversized application examples

Make your job postings and supporting materials accessible

By making your materials accessible, you can encourage applications from a wider talent pool, and also promote inclusivity and diversity within your organisation. Consider the following when creating your job posting and application materials:

  • using accessible fonts and colors
  • providing captions for videos
  • avoiding jargon and acronyms 

You can also use assistive tools such as the Microsoft Accessibility Checker to ensure that your documents are accessible.

Join us at the In House Recruitment Expo Summit

Tailored for In House Recruitment Leaders and team, IHRE23 Summit will feature seminars, masterclass sessions with time to network with colleagues and peers, including a session with AbilityNet's Lizi Green on Accessible and Inclusive Recruitment!

Find out more about the conference 

Register your free place today!
Graphic with red background and picture of people watching a talk in the corner. Text: IHRE Summit. Coventry Arena. 17 October 2023. Ensure you get your share of this huge buisness & networking opportunity. Free Entry.

Review your essential job criteria

It's important to consider whether any of these requirements could unintentionally hinder the inclusion of certain candidates. For instance, insisting on a valid driver's license may inadvertently exclude disabled candidates, and the journey may be possible by public transport. If a particular criterion isn't integral to the role, it might be a good idea to reconsider its necessity.

Graphic of two woman on laptops, exemplifying an online call Be flexible with your interview process

Recognise that candidates may have diverse communication needs and interaction preferences. Consider options like conducting online interviews with cameras off or blurred backgrounds to provide candidates with a comfortable setting. Additionally, offering candidates the choice to pre-record a presentation, if needed, can further enhance the inclusivity of your interview process.

Useful resources

AbilityNet have a range of resources to help you build accessibility into your recruitment process. 

Training 

Our affordable high-quality online training courses to help you build skills in accessibility.

Discover more training courses

Graphic of a pile of paper documents Factsheets 

AbilityNet’s Factsheets are free to download and provide advice and information about how computers and other digital technologies can help people with a range of conditions and impairments.

Explore our full range of factsheets

eLearning 

AbilityNet's online eLearning modules provide a cost-effective way to teach your staff about accessibility and inclusion.

Find out more about eLearning

Further resources

5 tips for creating accessible podcasts

Podcasts are a versatile medium that can cater to diverse audiences, including the disabled community.

Your podcast may attract neurodiverse listeners, who may prefer this form of content to stay informed and entertained. Similarly, podcasts are inherently audio-based, making them highly accessible and enjoyable to blind individuals and people with visual impairments.

But how can you ensure your podcast is accessible to all? By following these 5 simple tips, you can make your podcast more accessible.

1. Use clear audio

Clear audio not only enhances the podcast experience for all listeners but is essential for podcast accessibility to those with hearing loss. You can achieve clear audio by following these tips:

  • Use a high-quality microphone and record in a quiet environment. The AbilityNet podcast team uses online studio StreamYard to record audio locally, helping to export the clearest audio possible
  • Identify yourself and any other speakers before you start talking. Your host can ask everyone to introduce themselves if there are multiple guests 
We host the AbilityNet Podcast on a range of platforms. You can catch up on the latest episodes on Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Amazon Music.

2. Provide a transcript

A graphic of a document with text, a microphone icon and a music icon. Providing a transcript is the most important thing you can do to make your podcast accessible to d/Deaf people or people with hearing loss. 

Transcripts should include everything that is said in the podcast, as well as any sound effects or music. You can create transcripts yourself or hire a professional service to do it for you. 

Here are some tips for creating transcripts:

  • Listen to your podcast episode and proofread your transcript carefully before publishing it  
  • Add a glossary of acronyms to the transcript
  • Make a download of your transcript available in the podcast description and on your website. It also helps to offer the transcript in a document format, so your audience can customise it to match their needs and preference. Learn how to create accessible documents in our factsheet, Creating Accessible Documents
  • If you’re considering creating your own transcripts, you can try out tools such as Otter.ai, HappyScribe, or use the in-built automatic transcripts in Microsoft Teams

A graphic of two speech bubbles with text dots inside them.3. Use clear and concise language

When recording a podcast episode, it is important to avoid using jargon, acronyms, or technical terms that your audience may not understand. If you do use this type of language, be sure to explain it in a way that is easy to understand.

You can also define words or acronyms within a glossary of your transcript.

4. Describe all visual content 

If you are mentioning or discussing a visual element in your podcast, be sure to describe it. For example, if you are talking about a photo, describe what is in the photo. If you are talking about a video, describe what is happening in the video.

5. Promote your podcast in an accessible way 

When you promote your podcast, be sure to use accessible social media platforms and websites. You should use alt text for any images used and provide transcripts or captions for any video or audio promotional materials. 

If you are writing a blog post to promote your podcast, be sure to include a transcript of the episode. 

The AbilityNet Podcast logo. Two speech bubbles, one with a person icon and the other with a light bulb. Text displays: The AbilityNet Podcast. Disability. Technology. Inlcusion.Stay updated with the AbilityNet Podcast

The AbilityNet Podcast features insights, interviews, and the latest updates from key movers and shakers in the world of digital accessibility and disability inclusion.



Explore the latest episodes

 

Making your podcast accessible is important because it allows more people to enjoy your content. By following the tips in this blog post, you can make your podcast more accessible to all.

Please note that this blog is not a comprehensive guide to what you can do to make a podcast accessible, but these five tips can help you start creating accessible podcasts.

Further Resources

Fancy some delicious treats while you boost your digital skills?

AbilityNet in partnership with BT GroupYou may have seen in our recent news that older people are invited to improve their digital skills over a cup of tea at BT Group's BT Tea Rooms, where AbilityNet staff and Tech Volunteers will be available to support attendees.

The free sessions are now underway in Birmingham and here we share a few snaps from this week's sessions.

The BBC also shared information about the sessions, including highlighting that 11 million across the UK lacked basic digital skills:

"Over-65s are ten times more likely to fall into that category so there's a real imperative to focus on that age range and support people," said Amy Caton, Senior Manager, Digital Talent and Impact at BT in the BBC article.

Couple holding tasty looking sandwiches and snacks and smiling in cafePerfect looking cakes on a display tower in a cafeVisit the sessions in Birmingham, Glasgow and BournemouthMan being helped with digital device in cafe setting

There's still time to attend the final Birmingham BT Tea Room on Thursday 28 September at Urban Emporium, 30 Church St, Birmingham, B3 2NP. 

Sessions coming up in Glasgow and Bournemouth between 10am - 5.30pm: 

  • Café Fame, Glasgow
    127 Hope St, Glasgow G2 6PE
    When: Wednesday 4 October, Thursday 5 October, and Friday 6 October 
     
  • Frieda's Tea Room, Bournemouth, 
    City Centre, 7 Stafford Rd, Bournemouth BH1 1JH
    When: Tuesday 17 October, Wednesday 18 October, and Thursday 19 October 
    Interested in attending? Find out more by phoning 01202 281333 or go to the BT website.

Please share the sessions with anyone you know who could benefit from learning about everyday activities that are increasingly going online - such as booking a doctor’s appointment, shopping, banking, and paying bills. 

Aimed at people aged 65 or older, the sessions offer a quick drop-in to ask specific questions, plus more detailed 30 and 90 minute topic specific sessions. 

FREE WEBINAR RECORDING: Top tips for boosting your digital skills
BT Group, Age UK and AbilityNet shared practical ways to help ensure that senior citizens and disabled people are not left behind in the digital revolution.

Digital Skills sessions in your community

People looking at phones in cafe settingIf you can't make it along to a BT Tea Room event, our Digital Skills trainers can also provide free digital skills training at home or at a community group setting.

This is currently available to support older people (65+ years) based in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and surrounding areas.

How AbilityNet can help you

Pages