Enhancing organisational accessibility: 3 top tips for internal communication teams

Written by
Apr 4, 2024
Internal Communication

In today's diverse and inclusive business landscape, fostering accessibility is paramount for organisations. Internal communication teams play a pivotal role in promoting accessibility within the workplace, ensuring that information is readily available to all employees, regardless of their abilities or backgrounds.

Here are our top three tips for internal communication teams to champion accessibility, accompanied by examples of best practices implemented by leading companies.

1. Implement inclusive communication platforms

One of the first things internal communication teams can do is to promote the use of more accessible communication platforms. Modern platforms have many tools that can widen the reach of communications to ensure everyone gets the benefit of being informed.

Microsoft Teams has emerged as a prime example of an inclusive communication platform. With features like live captions, screen readers, and high contrast themes, Microsoft Teams ensures that employees with diverse needs can participate in virtual meetings seamlessly. This commitment to inclusivity enhances overall accessibility within the organisation.

2. Prioritize plain language and clear communication

Clear and concise communication benefits everyone, but it is especially crucial for individuals with cognitive disabilities, language barriers, or learning differences. Internal communication teams should prioritise using plain language and avoiding jargon to enhance understanding across the entire workforce. Eg: avoid the use of TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms).

IBM has set an industry standard for accessible communication with its Inclusive Writing Guide. This guide encourages employees to use plain language, avoid acronyms, and provide alternative text for images. By adopting these practices, IBM ensures that its internal communications are easily comprehensible, fostering a more inclusive work environment.

3. Develop training programs on accessibility

To promote accessibility effectively, internal communication teams should invest in training programs for employees. These programs should cover topics such as creating accessible documents, designing accessible presentations, and understanding the importance of diverse perspectives in communication.

Adobe has taken a proactive approach to promoting accessibility within its workforce by implementing comprehensive training programs. These programs educate employees on creating accessible content using Adobe products, fostering a culture of awareness and competence in accessibility. This commitment contributes to a more inclusive internal communication strategy.

Communications is at the heart of ensuring that employees are engaged and informed. In this pursuit it’s important to consider the needs of every single employee, making sure that the message is reachable to everyone. The above examples show how some major organisations like Microsoft, IBM, and Adobe have taken special care in improving accessibility through development of special tools or investing in education and standardisation that benefits those that are differently enabled. Accessibility should never be an afterthought, but an important feature of any and all internal communications.

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