5 things to know about remote accessibility
What does remote accessibility mean?
An event, organisation, role or resource is accessible remotely when it is possible for anyone to engage with it, from anywhere in the world.
The importance of remote accessibility
Accessibility provisions should not end with the physical location of an event. For many people living with chronic illness or disability, remote resources are the only accessible option and, often, their main way of engaging with the world. Remote accessibility also creates more opportunities for those whose health condition or disability prevents them from attending school, university or work.
What can you do?
What remote accessibility looks like can depend on the organisation, event, and audience. Some examples include: digital content to accompany an event or exhibition, online/hybrid courses and talks, and provision for people to study and complete examinations/internships/work from home. Even if you are attending an event in-person, there are ways to include family/friends who are not able to be there, by taking photos/video (if you are allowed) or saving leaflets and freebies.
Making online events and resources more inclusive
Online accessibility does not necessarily make an event inclusive. As with in-person events, thought needs to be put into making it a positive experience for someone with a chronic illness or disability. This might include audio descriptions and accurate subtitles for deaf or visually impaired individuals, consistent rest breaks for those with energy-limiting conditions, recording online/hybrid events so attendees can watch at their own pace, doing a test run to work out any technical glitches and ensuring virtual resources are easy and enjoyable to navigate.
Harnessing lived experience
These slides are based on my personal experience accessing online events and remote resources. However, people (even those living with the same health condition) have a variety of lived experiences. For this reason, it is important to consult with chronically ill and disabled individuals who have firsthand experience of accessing remote resources, so you can accommodate a variety of needs. This can come in many forms, from encouraging your remote audience to give feedback, to attending courses and talks (for more details, see Angela’s post about harnessing lived experience).
Written by Unexpected Learning Journey
I am a classics undergraduate studying part-time with The Open University and can be found on my Instagram page @unexpectedlearningjourney