Five Years Of People First

This month we have been celebrating Hable’s 5th birthday and it has been wonderful! As part of the celebrations, some of us were interviewed about the journey so far and our various roles. As Accessibility lead, I (Sarah Mann) was asked to talk about my role.

So, lights, camera, action!

In my interview, I spoke about how happy I am to work for an organisation that has a strong focus on Accessibility and places it at the heart of everything we do. For us at #TeamHable, Accessibility is not an optional extra or an afterthought. Neither is it a bit of virtue signalling to make us feel smug. Accessibility is about our priority at Hable, and that is people. We put people first, then adapt the technology to suit their needs.

My job is to keep my colleagues up-to-date with all of the latest developments and ensure that Accessibility is genuinely baked into everything we do. 1 in 7 people are disabled, and many of those disabilities are hidden. That means 1 in every 7 of the people that we interact with when we are floorwalking, or speak to when running online learning sessions. It’s about being inclusive because, unless we deliberately include, we can unintentionally exclude. And all of us can fall into the exclusion group by dint of circumstances. I may temporarily not be able to type because I have broken my arm. Or we may need to talk to a customer, but we don’t share a common language. Microsoft Accessibility tools are by their design, inclusive! They are for all of us. For instance, I may not have dyslexia but the excellent Immersive Reader helps me proof read my documents. (If you’re not familiar with the tools, check out this excellent overview here)

If you would like more information about how we can support your organisation to change how your people feel about Technology, and particularly for the 1 in 7 of us, please get in touch. We would love to work with you, identify some of the gaps and support you in your journey to be digitally inclusive.

….P.S.

After recording my interview, one of the team of waiters approached me and said he was listening in to the interview. He said he had a hidden disability and that he felt really moved to hear that we were bothered about it. That he wished that his school had taken it more seriously and that his employers would find better ways to accommodate his needs. How meaningful he found it that an organisation like ours, that is working with schools, governments and businesses, is spreading the message that Accessibility matters and empowering people to use technology in a way that benefits everyone. Probably the best birthday present possible!

….P.P.S

We are running an event at BETT, on a Yacht, like you do, on Friday 24th January. Between 1 and 2pm we are running a session on “Why Accessibility Matters” so much to us, we would love you to join us if you are planning on attending BETT. Our guest speaker is Hector Minto – Microsoft’s Accessibility Evangelist – and the session is about ensuring that as we work, teach and learn in the cloud, everyone is included.

If you would like to attend, please fill in the form here

#WeAre5!