Schools Must be Inclusive
I’m compelled to write this post, as lately I have come across far too many schools that aren’t getting the message regarding social inclusion in their public-facing media.
Too often schools have told me that “accessibility is not necessary” or “it’s not what we’re after”. I understand they want the ideal. This is the overly visually stimulating website featuring bright colours and many photographs of children studying and carrying out activities. These elements aim to create a cheerful and welcoming atmosphere, an image that many schools aim to portray. The problem is that this kind of website is not accessible to 20% of the population.
There are now signs of change in the air. These changes will help us redefine what we believe is the ideal website. Three months ago, the South South Australian Government launched its Accessibility Online Policy and this has set stage for incorporating inclusive design on all public-facing media in South Australia.
Meanwhile, the South Australian Government has just started another fantastic initiative, the State Disability Inclusion Plan. Its aim is to work towards a more inclusive state.
Also, other institutions, both educational and private, are showing a great deal of interest and want to be informed so that they can decide how to contribute to this change. One of these is Flinders University. Later this month I’ll be presenting at the university on the importance of web accessibility in our great state. I will share more about these developments later.
There is no doubt that South Australia is leading the way in social inclusion in relation to digital media; let’s keep it that way!
I believe schools are the perfect institution to start implementing digital accessibility to achieve social inclusion but principals and schools leaders must get onboard.
Is your school or institution on board? Do you need help? Contact us and we will have a chat about how we can make your website inclusive.