Playback Rate 1

#AccessibilityToMe - Episode Two [V5].mov

I found it quite difficult to get work, as I lost my eyesight completely, quite quickly overnight, about eight years ago, so it took me six years to get work.

The Accessibility Act is a really good thing. Some companies hide behind that to say, yes, we've got that in place, but they haven't really questioned the users to find out exactly what they need, what their needs are and how they could improve it.

Invotra Consulting, listened to the voices of assisted software users and experts in accessibility.

Episode two, the most common challenges surrounding accessibility, hashtag AccessibilityToMe.

So I'm Billy McAllister, I work for the Department of Work and Pensions and I'm a Disability Employment Advisor.

So I tried to learn how to use social medias and I just find it very, very long winded. And, I just in general, any kind of sort of screen reading software is very, everything just takes forever.

The job I have to do and my colleague does exact same task, it's probably taken me, you know, on average two or three or four times longer to do that task, which again, it's very frustrating. But I want to do my job as as quick and efficient as I can because colleagues are going to look at it and realise it takes me longer.

So there may be a sense of mistrust or maybe not, a person's not efficient enough because it's taking them 10, 15 minutes to do a job that, you know, people who are sighted could do in seconds almost, and they just don't get the concept of, maybe the difficulty of, the task involved because they don't see a screen reader. There wouldn't be a day goes by that I have to get my partner maybe to do something to help me use that service.

The voting service, there was no, when you go to hit the button for the voting service, it was inactive. If I wanted to find out if my bins are going to be collected, if I go on to the website,

some of it may be accessible as far as screenwriters used, but you get into a different part. or hit the link, it doesn't do anything.

And so then I'm having to call my partner and say, can you open that link for me?

and its, it takes away a little bit of your, definitely your independence.

My name's Dave Horwood. I'm from Brighton. I'm 31 years old.

It is hard sometimes because somethings, especially with lockdown, they were accessible websites and programmes, but because people like to make quick tweaks without maybe the same sort of standards, or the same checks taking place, things suddenly became inaccessible when they were previously quite accessible. Or there was one tiny little piece of info, like a box you have to tick or a CAPTCHA you know where you type in the text in from the picture,

you know, something like that, it is just as simple, it has suddenly popped in and that's made made you basically, a whole task you were having to complete, took ages because you had to wait for a sighted friend or family member, especially in lockdown.

So, it feels a lot of times like if someone can say they're doing something and then the boxes are ticked, that's all that really matters.

Over 13 million people in the U.K. are struggling to do simple tasks and carry out everyday actions due to inaccessible websites and digital services - stats credited to The Purple Pound.

My name is Lee Davies.

I'm currently working as a Junior Accessibility Consultant for HMRC within the CDIO departments.

If I go on a website and I find that I can't use it personally, there's only really two methods around it, which is either to request for sighted assistance, which does not feel good because you automatically are, you know, relating that to a bad experience because it's something that you haven't been able to do yourself. You've had to ask somebody for assistance with, which is unfortunately something that happens on a regular basis, and it does not increase loyalty to the brand.

My current role is a Web accessibility consultant with the RNIB. Now with the pandemic, people are going to be struggling to go outside and actually do things. If they can't get on the Internet, then normally they would go to a physical services, so they'd go down to their banks, to do their banking or go to the shops, to do their shopping. But like I said, because of the pandemic, that makes it even harder.

So they rely on the Internet to do all of those things even more now.

So when there are barriers to doing all of those things online, then it's even more of a problem for people with disability. So because of that, people can be felt, kind of, excluded from society.

My name is Beatrice Simpson. I've recently, within the last few years, given up my job because of my vision. But what I did before was I was the manager of an opticians for 24 years. Companies tend to, they tend to think if they make part of the website or part of the application accessible, that's good enough, they don't drill down enough and they don't ask enough questions. You know what your needs on what you need to look at. So they are the problems, I think.

The Accessibility Act is a really good thing. But what it tends to do is some companies hide behind that to say, yes, we've got that in place, but they haven't really questioned the users to find out exactly what they need, what their needs are and how they could improve it.

September 23rd, 2020, marked the deadline for public sector websites to be WCAG 2.1 AA compliant. A survey conducted by Invotra Consulting one month before the deadline revealed a staggering 67 percent of respondents could not confidently say they were ready for the deadline.

Almost 50 percent of respondents had not carried out an audit on their website. Furthermore, 35 percent either did not have or weren't sure if they had an accessibility statement.

Despite the deadline having come and gone, there are still countless organisations out there that still do not meet this criteria. And have no plan to do so.

I'm Léonie Watson, I'm founder and director of Tetralogical. I've been working on the web for nearly 25 years and most of that time in accessibility.

One of the biggest challenges organisations have is with knowledge. It's really hard to find out whether your teams have accessibility knowledge.

It's still difficult to recruit people with accessibility knowledge and to be able to assess whether the knowledge is of a high standard or not. And we're all still fighting a rearguard action. Students of design, development, research are still not taught how to do their craft with accessibility in mind. The challenges really do exist in every tier within an organisation and for accessibility to really be successful, to be flawless and seamless, every single one of those has got to be addressed. If people right the way through the company don't have the time, the capability, the remit, to do what they need to do, then you've got a weak link in the chain.

Knowing that your website or your app has got to conform to a particular standard is only the end result.

What goes into getting you there is actually some fairly fundamental organisational change.

It's not just a matter of having an audit and fixing some bugs because a lot of what the audit turns up will be, actually your content management system isn't going to let you conform to that standard. Actually, you've got things in your templates at the code level of your website or your app that aren't going to let you meet those. And that then feeds back to your team don't have the knowledge and the skills they need to correct those mistakes and to avoid making those mistakes again in the future.

I've been at the Cambridge University Press for about 12 years now. Moving mainly between various UX and front line development roles. One of the biggest challenges was, or is still in some areas, is the fact that accessibility has not been identified as a high priority issue right from the beginning of the project. It's usually kind of considered as just some kind of an optional add-on at the end, by which point it's obviously more difficult, more time-consuming and more expensive to fix the resulting problems.

So my name is Leila.

I'm the Digital Content Manager at East Herts Council.

It is a challenge ensuring that a website is accessible, but also still catering to kind of the wider community as well. So people like video content, for example. But creating a video accessibly, there are quite a few steps in it, it does need to be subtitled, you do need the transcript, it needs to be clear, the audio needs to be clear, and kind of walking people through those steps, that its not just the case, we can't just publish the video that you've taken on your phone.

We have to do things properly, I think is one of the bigger challenges. Keeping that kind of creative spark and the interest of your wider audience whilst ensuring that accessibility is ongoing.

A person (a service provider) concerned with the provision of a service to the public or section of the public (for payment or not) must not discriminate against a person requiring the service by not providing the person with the service. Equality Act 2010.

My name is Craig Abbott.

I'm currently the Head of Accessibility at DWP.

My main focus is the compliance work, working on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines,

making sure that we meet our legislative requirements, that kind of thing. So when you talk to people and you ask them about accessibility, they go, oh, yeah, I understand, you know what accessibility is,

I know we need to do it, but they don't necessarily understand exactly what that entails and what kind of level of work they need to do in order to be able to prove that something is compliant and those kind of things. People know they need to do a bunch of stuff and they've got an awareness of the regulations which came in, and they've got awareness of things that they've got to do. They know about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, but kind of pulling it all together and knowing exactly what they need to do to meet them regulations is something that I think is is missing at the moment, in a lot of areas.

It is hard. Accessibility is hard. And I think if people don't feel supported, then they're probably going to find it really frustrating or just deprioritise it. And that's not what we want.

There's a little bit of a myth around accessibility that it costs a lot of money and there's a lot of work involved and the outcome is, well, we're not going to build something that is as aesthetic, as maybe we want it to be, when all of those things aren't true.

The investment in accessibility is actually relatively low and the return on investment is very high as long as you're going to do it in the right way, building it from the start.

Are you providing your teams with the tools and knowledge they need to create accessible experiences? And if so, are you measuring the quality of the output?

Discuss it with us. We'd love to talk to you.

Inclusivity is not an optional extra. Accessibility is not a project. The time for change is now.

Coming up, episode three: The benefits of accessibility.

Invotra Consulting, here to support you in creating accessible experiences for all, visit and use the hashtag AccessibilityToMe, we'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Together we can ignite positive change.