Too Many Chefs Can Spoil Digital Inclusion

10 Mar 2022 | General | Accessibility

Michelle Hay
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Your website reflects your business: some are big; some are small; some are modern and some take more traditional approaches.

Microenterprises (1-9 staff) might outsource their website altogether while small enterprises (10-50 staff) may only have one or two contributors to their website. Medium (50-250 staff) and large (250+ staff) enterprises often have whole teams and even various departments contributing to their overall web content. It’s the larger organization attitude which often throw up digital inclusion issues as the different teams have different training and understanding around what affects inclusion.

Marketing and communications teams

These teams are likely to be the main contributors to your digital content. It is the responsibility of the marketing team to drive awareness of your business, more unique traffic to your site, encourage interaction and engagement among your customers, and ultimately drive leads and sales. The communications team differ slightly in that they are accountable for the brand and public image of the company. Depending on the size, structure and culture of the organization, these two teams may cross over in their remit. They might even sit under the IT department, though this is becoming rarer. Marketing and communications teams will post product, service, information, news, blogs and more to websites. It is critical that they know the best practice for creating inclusive content.

HR and intranet for staff training and support

In some companies the communications team mentioned above also manage internal news within the company, however, most organizations leave this responsibility to their HR staff, as they are the ones who most frequently need to communicate with employees. As many companies include training and support portals on their intranets, it would be good practise to make these areas inclusive, not just for any users living with disabilities, but as an example. The irony wouldn’t be lost if you had training on inclusion which wasn’t inclusive itself.

Procurement and suppliers

Depending on your business size and situation, procurement and products are usually managed by specialist staff. A food service company may have thousands of products available to order, categorizing them down into meat, groceries, beverage, and non-food items, and having separate teams looking after each area, makes sense. Each of these teams will be responsible for procuring and sourcing their respective goods, and ensuring they are represented correctly online is part of their remit. Some of the main issues can be with the images and links used on product listing pages, and are major stumbling blocks when it comes to inclusion, so such teams will also need to be continuously trained in the latest methods.

Third party integrations

Third party integrations might sound like the sort of thing only software providers and technology companies need to be concerned about. Any integration can cause issues when it comes to inclusion, widgets, apps and payment portals. These features need to be just as inclusive as the rest of your content, and it can be difficult to manage them based on who has the relationship with the company providing the integration.

Legal team policies and statements

There are certain rules and regulations that every employer needs to follow and be aware of. There are many legal documents and statement pages you’ll find on most website covering everything from accessibility statements to terms and conditions, and even anti-slavery policies. These pieces of content are usually the responsibility of legal professionals or representatives within a company. It’s just as important that these staff members have the same level of training and continuous development when it comes to inclusion.

With so many potential contributors to your digital content, it’s clear why organisations are at risk of non-compliance and litigation. Try the Sitemorse Check to see how inclusive your website is, there’s no data collection or forms, it’s free and only takes 30 seconds.