Macclesfield UX and accessibility specialists, Sigma, are urging content creators and broadcast journalists to improve access to critical communications.
Particularly salient during the coronavirus outbreak, Sigma has urged all content creators to be more mindful of accessibility needs of the entire population when distributing essential resources.
The UK Government has faced criticism for its daily coronavirus press briefings which do not have a sign-language interpreter present for deaf viewers as has been done in other countries. However, beyond government, many organisations in fields such as healthcare and utilities also fail to ensure output is available translated or in alternative formats for those with hearing, sight or cognitive impairments.
Hilary Stephenson, Managing Director at Sigma, said:
It is fundamental that everyone in society has the same access to information, especially in situations like the current Covid-19 pandemic. Information that could prevent the spread of the virus and even save lives is inaccessible to many with disabilities, as it does not consider the needs of all users. It is a health risk for individuals to not be fully informed.
“There are more than 1 billion people living with some form of disability worldwide, with 14.1 million living in the UK. We urge all content creators to consider these tools and steps when creating and sharing content. Not only for those registered with a disability, but those who are not yet registered, as well as our ageing population, which is at higher risk of the virus. Increasing inclusivity could mean the difference between life and death!”
Macclesfield based Sigma has launched a free toolkit of accessibility resources for content creators to help with making their content more accessible, including best practices for video captions and image descriptions.