Our Reasons Why, on Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, and we could have written a blog on some of the great work and successes that Akari and our Partners are having, but instead we wanted to make it personal and tell you our reasons why. As inclusion and diversity are at the core of our values and vision at Akari, we asked some of the team why accessibility is important to them:

Exec Team

“My brother was in his late teens before he was officially diagnosed with dyslexia, before then, there was no additional support available to him, no extra time for exams, he had a constant fear that he wasn’t good enough and was told he wasn’t trying hard enough. He spent most of his years going through school believing he wasn’t as smart as his peers, wasn’t as capable or able to achieve his goals.

But we knew differently. Kieran is a bright, ambitious, caring and brave young guy with a wicked sense of humour. He is fully capable of achieving what he sets his mind to. He wants to join Police Scotland and work towards creating a safer environment for the community we live in, he’s tenacious and I know they will be lucky to have him onboard, because he will get there.

We will never know everyone’s reasons why accessibility is important to them. All our lives are diverse and by creating a culture and community of inclusion we enable equal access and equal opportunities. We have a responsibility in this innovative industry to level the playing field for everyone, to raise awareness of accessibility and create solutions that allow us all to achieve what we set our minds to, regardless of your background, where you come from, or your circumstances.

I’m incredibly proud working with a team that believe in accessibility being at the forefront of what we do, creating a digitally inclusive environment where we can all thrive.”

~ Kim

 

“Accessibility and inclusion by definition are about things being easy to use, reaching everyone and including all and that seems like an easy thing to achieve. 

As a mother to an amazing thirteen year old boy who is bright, games mad, book mad, loving, clever, a bit of a smart ass and yes also on the autistic spectrum, accessibility matters to me because it works to make the world the way it should be. It levels the playing field and stops us defining people by their perceived disabilities and allows everyone to access what they need, on their terms and in their own way. 

I fully believe everyone and every organisation wants to be inclusive but many don’t know where to start. That’s where days like Global Accessibility Awareness Day change the game.  They start the conversation and help us understand and recognise the importance of inclusivity by design. 

One of the quotes of the day so far for me has been by Adi Latif from Ability Net. ‘You’re not born disabled, you’re made disabled.’  With the technology we now  have, we are now in the unique position to ensure that inclusivity and accessibility become part of everyone’s way of working.”

~ Mags

Sales & Marketing Team

“With a background in inclusion and community development I have witnessed first hand the impact of poverty, inequality, discrimination and exclusion in some of the most deprived areas of Scotland. However, I have also been privileged enough to witness the opportunities created when these barriers are removed, and the accomplishments achieved when individuals are given the choice to participate.

Experts in the field of technology have the creative solutions to give people this choice; ensuring that accessibility is access for everybody.”

~ Natalie

 

“Accessibility might feel like the latest in a long line or buzzwords, though seeing how small steps that make the world more accessible, makes me believe that we’re past buzzword territory. From Microsoft devoting their Super Bowl advertising to the subject to a string of new and promising books, I’m excited to see how the tech world embraces accessibility, hopefully, helping to create a more equal world for us all in the process.

Accessibility is important to me because I believe in equality, I believe we all do better and we achieve more when we all have the ability to succeed.  I’m glad to see that we’re moving towards a world where accessibility and diversity are important and not just tokenistic phrases thrown around by businesses.”

~ Alice

 

Technical Team

“Accessibility is personally important to me because it gives anybody the opportunity to use modern technology no matter the circumstances. This means everyone has equal opportunities to use today’s technology and with the breadth of products Microsoft have for all, there are no boundaries for people anymore.”

~ Jack

“Living with dyslexia it can be increasingly difficult to keep up with simple reading and writing tasks. It is comforting to know there are people working hard across the world innovating, building and developing applications and software to help with the struggles we face on a day to day basis. Having not discovered I had dyslexia until in secondary school it would have done me the world of good to have accessibility features and tools when I was much younger and could have prevented the feeling of exclusion when I came to reading and writing tasks. Accessibility Becomes a big help and can take much of the strain off with simple features such as a coloured background having a massive impact.”

~ Richard

“Having a son who is on the Autism spectrum, accessibility is really close to my heart. Feeling that every change we make in our personal and working lives to make the world a more accessible place brings me closer to being confident about him having all the tools at his fingertips to succeed and make his own mark.

Accessibility, being In the IT and technology field, is super important to how I approach and design our products and solutions. Within todays modern world everyone should have the right to partake in technology. Every new products or services should be built to ensure that it is accessible to everyone who wants to use it or needs it to make their life’s inheritantly better.

Even the small changes make a powerful difference. For me, learning a new technology shouldnt require years of training, you should be able to pick it up and get to grips with it within a few hours and with technology leaders driving the accessibility message from the front this has become a reality in the way technology is evolving.

It’s a great time for everyone and it’s a great time to be in the IT business.”

~ David

“Accessibility is extremely important in today’s modern workplaces down to the fact that everyone should feel included, valued and sought after both in and out of work – regardless of any disability. Access in the workplace for those with disabilities means that those who it affects feel included and not as if they cannot do their job to a sufficient degree down to something “holding them back.” Its about a relaxed, inclusive and supportive approach to make sure everyone in the workplace feels valued and appreciated; as well as helping everyone do their job to the best of their ability.”

~ Euan

Get in touch to discuss what accessibility means to you and your team, and what organisations can do to create a more connected and inclusive society.