AbilityNet

Making websites and apps accessible to everyone

Take a look at the brochure at abilitynet.org.uk/lockedout

At Wardour, we love working with charities and knowing that our editorial and creative expertise is helping them to get their message heard. Our work with digital accessibility charity AbilityNet is a great example of how we make charity communications as effective and impactful as possible.

Our client

AbilityNet is a charity that aims to make the digital world more accessible. It provides free resources and services that help people with disabilities and older people to get the most from their digital devices. In addition to this, it provides paid-for digital accessibility services for businesses.

The brief

AbilityNet asked us to create a digital brochure that would explain the importance of accessibility in the digital world and highlight how the charity can help to make websites and apps accessible to everyone. The brief also included the creation of a video exemplifying the difference accessibility makes to people’s online experiences and explaining how AbilityNet can help businesses to improve their user experience. As AbilityNet had recently undergone a brand refresh, these two outcomes also had to bring the new brand to life.

The target audience included senior digital leaders, accessibility evangelists, C-suite leaders and non-accessibility digital professionals. The aim was to show them the importance of accessibility and the impact it has on their business, and to encourage them to contact AbilityNet for help. Both the brochure and video would be used as part of the charity’s digital accessibility event, TechShare Pro.

How we did it

Our strategy involved engaging the charity’s business audience with real-life, personal stories of how inaccessibility affects people’s online experience. To gather these stories, we spoke to AbilityNet’s accessibility experts and interviewed people with disabilities about their digital experiences and the barriers they face.

In one of these interviews, Adi Latif, who is a blind accessibility consultant, explained that when he encounters an inaccessible website, he feels as though he is being locked out. We recognised the impact of this statement – as everyone can understand the frustration of being locked out of your house or computer – and developed a locked-out theme to weave together the brochure and video content.

Watch the video at https://bit.ly/39jRvei

In the brochure, as well as detailing the services the charity provides, we included the business case for accessibility, to encourage businesses to invest in improving their digital offering. We used powerful statistics to back up AbilityNet’s statements and quotes from staff members to exhibit the charity’s passion for its cause. The new tone of voice was brought to life by using simple and accessible language throughout, while retaining the charity’s voice of expertise. We peppered the brochure with provocative questions to encourage businesses to question whether or not their service is working hard enough.

To adhere to the new brand guidelines, we created an accessible colour palate with high levels of contrast. As we were determined to practise what we preach, we went the extra mile by including additional features such as invisible punctuation, which would make the text easier to read for people using a screen reader.

A page of the brochure dedicated to how accessibility is good for business.

For the video, we overcame the limitations of government restrictions by filming interviews using Zoom and made this digital approach part of our creative execution. It was crucial to make the video accessible to people of all abilities, so we included subtitles for people with hearing impairments and made sure that any text on screen was read out for anyone who is blind.

Both the video and brochure were used at the TechShare Pro event and received praise from both charity and business professionals. AbilityNet also have plans to share the content with a wider audience, with a possible social media campaign in the pipeline.

Sarah Botterill, Marketing Manager at AbilityNet says:

“It has been great to work with Wardour who delivered a strong theme that runs through both our brochure and the video. It was important to make an emotional connection, and enable others empathise with what it’s like to be disabled and unable to access the digital world. Just as important was the business case and Wardour delivered on both.”