7.2 Accessibility at work
Accessibility means different things to different people, so let’s start this section by interrogating your understanding of the term.
Activity 16 What does accessibility mean to you?
Spend a few minutes noting down the words you associate with accessibility at work. Try to come up with at least one, but no more than ten.
Then pick your favourite word – the one that best encapsulates what accessibility means to you.
Figure 11 shows a word cloud containing some common words associated with accessibility.
Did you think about accessibility in relation to removing physical obstacles, or were you considering it in terms of website usability standards, for example? In a hybrid working world, both are important.
Here’s one definition of accessibility:
Accessibility is about removing barriers from a workplace or work function, so that everyone has equal access to the location, tools and tasks required to perform their role.
Your organisation has a moral duty to make sure nobody is excluded from taking an active part in working life, and a legal duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled staff and job applicants (potential employees). Exploring those duties in detail could be a substantial course in itself – the aim here is just to summarise key aspects of accessibility in a hybrid working context, and provide you with links to more detailed resources that you can explore in your own time.