Our Journey Towards Universal Accessability
Over the past few months we have been working with Universal Access, a leading organisation in the area of access for everyone. They provide training and advice with a programme for Disability Inclusion Framework that has 11 pillars, with each pillar having a roadmap of checkpoints supported by resources and tool kits that can be used by an organisation in a holistic, continuous pathway.
The Framework spans five different maturity levels, and as you progress through each level, all of which are supported by resources and technology, you are awarded a Disability Inclusion Maturity Mark
The framework incorporates 11 competency pillars:
1. Leadership & Culture
Leadership and Culture underpin a business/organisation values. This competency pillar supports CEO’s and boards to drive systematic change across their entire value chain to deliver disability and age inclusion.
2. Awareness and innovation
Awareness and innovation refer to knowledge and shared understanding to all people equally. This competency pillar supports awareness and business/organisational change initiatives in disability and age inclusion that will deliver authentic inclusion and enable disruptive innovation that ensure business/organisation differentiation
3. Built Environment, Products and Services
Accessible and inclusive buildings, products and services seek to remove and prevent barriers ensuring all people can participate fully, equally, and independently. This competency pillar supports a business/organisation through a Universal Design driven approach and process ensuring inclusive design is at the heart of the built environment, product, and service development and maintenance.
4. Policy and organisation development
Policy and organisation development embed the values and cultures within the business/organisations. This competency pillar supports the business/organisation’s management, processes and practices ensuring they are accessible and inclusive to represent the full human diversity of employees and customers.
The Recruitment competency pillar supports businesses/organisations to develop a bias and barrier free recruitment process that is accessible and inclusive and for the business/organisation to be an ‘Employer of Choice’. Inclusive Recruitment ensures the business/organisation can access the widest pool of talent and skillset.
The Retention competency pillar supports businesses/organisations to deliver a person-centred workplace by ensuring there are no barriers to the retention, development and progression of individuals who acquire a disability or reduced function due to ageing.
The Communications competency pillar supports businesses/organisations verbal, written, visual and electronic communications ensuring they are fully accessible and inclusive for employees and customers. Accessible and inclusive communication ensures that the giving, receiving, and sharing of information is equitable and transparent to all.
8. Digital accessibility
Inclusive Digital accessibility means that everyone, including people with disabilities and ageing, can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the internet and digital assets. This competency pillar supports businesses/organisations to embed accessible solutions into its hardware, software, online environments, and content development.
The Procurement competency pillar assists businesses/organisations to follow a Universal Design / Design for All approach and process in the procurement of products and services ensuring they are accessible and useable for all people including those with disabilities and ageing.
10. Industry Specific
This competency pillar supports businesses/organisations specific industry requirements and assists in implementing bespoke accessible and inclusive solutions.
11. Measurement, Evaluation and Accountability
This competency pillar supports the business/organisation in measuring, benchmarking, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting the business’s/organisation’s disability and ageing inclusion progress to all stakeholders internally and externally.