How to implement accessibility training with Atos

"The last thing we want to be doing is forcing people to learn stuff that is irrelevant to them. We have a lot of training material available already, we’re looking to break that up further and make it more role based. Because people have very limited time, putting stuff into small chunks and bite sized learnings is important," said Neil Milliken, Global Head of Accessibility for Atos.

Neil, also co-founder of AXSChat, joined Robin Christopherson MBE, Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNet, in our Accessibility Insights webinar, and discussed accessibilty training methods that help create more inclusive content. 

"Most people who are developing applications and systems for customers aren’t writing code or aren’t writing it from scratch, they are reusing components. A lot of the most important stuff that I do is actually not about teaching people about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, it’s about teaching them the principles," Neil continued.

Watch the webinar in full and download the transcript:

Tools to manage dyslexia

Attendees of the webinar were able to pose questions to Neil to respond to. One of the questions was about which tools Neil recommends to help manage dyslexia:

"All number of proofreading tools are available, including Texthelp's Read & Write, and Claro aimed at supporting literacy and dyslexia. If you are not working in a corporate environment then you may also be able to take advantage of some of the cloud-based tools like Grammarly," he advised.

Robin Christopherson of AbilityNet and Neil Milliken from ATOS

You can find the slidedeck used for the webinar below along with a transcript.

For additional information read answers to frequently asked questions about AbilityNet webinars. This session has also been released as a podcast - see below. 

Neil Milliken answers attendees' questions from the webinar

Attendees were able to submit their questions for Neil and Robin during the live webinar, with answers provided below:

How can I find out whether my organisation has an accessibility strategy?

Every organisation is different and will store that information in different places. Start by looking on your organisation’s website for an Accessibility Statement. If you have a diversity team, speak with them, they may know.  

Is there any evidence to suggest that accessibility functions add to the cost of a programme?

Whenever you add any feature to a programme or application there is a cost associated with development and support. However, the biggest impact on cost is the point at which you introduce accessibility in the development cycle. If you consider accessibility from inception then the cost of including it can be very low. Retrofitting accessibility is both cumbersome and expensive.

You mentioned Wix in relation to accessibility – can you clarify this point?

Lots of private individuals and small businesses use website builders such as Wix and are not creating their own code. To be fair to Wix it has made significant improvements in the accessibility of its platform over the last couple of years, but there are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of sites out there using old templates that are not accessible. Furthermore, you need to turn on accessibility features in all of the content management platforms and look for accessible templates. Access the Wix Accessibility Guides on its website.

What’s the difference between WCAG and ATAG?

WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) is about content. ATAG (Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines) is about the tools that we use to create that content. 

What are the fundamental features an application like Moodle has to have to comply with the accessibility regulations?

The accessibility requirements for Moodle or any online platform are essentially the same people need to be able to access and interact with the content. The content on the platform should comply with WCAG 2.1 and follow the core principles of being perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.  

What should the public-facing websites ensure after the September 23 deadline? 

AbilityNet has been running a programme of information and advice in the countdown to 23 September 2020. You can watch the webinar recording of our most recent HE/Public sector update webinar, which outlines requirements for 23 September. (Transcript provided.) Our blog: Countdown to public sector deadline: How prepared are you? should also be of interest.

Save the date for our higher education (HE) and public sector update webinar on 22 September, where Kate Lister from Open University will be speaking about how her institution has developed a robust digital accessibility focus and inclusive practices.

Podcast recording

Date of webinar: 
11 Aug 2020 - 13:00