Five ways to be more accessible

Five ways to be more accessible

This Global Accessibility Awareness Day improve your digital accessibility and be inclusive to all students. Develop skills you can take with you into the workplace.

Over 4 million people in Australia experience disability. That’s around 1 in 5 Australians. Thursday, May 20, 2021 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, a day designed to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion.

Five things you can do

It’s everyone’s job to consider accessibility. As a student, here are five things you can do while you study at RMIT.
 

1. Make your emails accessible

When you send images in your email, a screen reader cannot describe what’s there. Adding Alt text helps people who can’t see the screen understand what’s important in images and other visuals.

Microsoft Office has a handy Accessibility Checker. Use this before sending your email, or sharing your document or spreadsheet. Make sure your content is easy for people of all abilities to read and edit.

2. Understand assistive technology

Did you know that there is a diverse range of assistive technology that can be use in workplaces and learning environments? 

Technology can play a powerful role in improving access to education for students with disability. 

Lyn: Technology for Reading & Writing

Lyn is studying Textiles and Fashion at RMIT.  Using a C-Pen Reader, Seeing AI, speech recognition and text-to-speech has helped Lyn throughout her studies.

RMIT would like to thank ADCET and the University of Tasmania’s Disability Services, the students and Martin Kelly for making these videos possible.

3. Ensure your study sessions are inclusive

Group assignments and presentations are important aspects of study –  and work. To be inclusive in your class or workplace, there are some simple things you can do.

When you’re running a team meeting, record the session and turn transcription on. This means everyone can review the meeting in their own time and have a written transcript of the discussion. 

For visual presentations, it’s important to understand text contrast and design slides so they are easy to understand.

Aaron with guide dog Aaron, pictured with guide dog Wrenna
When content isn’t accessible, I spend my time sorting out these issues. It creates a barrier in my ability to participate.

Aaron, RMIT Student

4. Make your social posts accessible

Everyone’s on social – including users with different accessibility needs. Show your solidarity and do these easy things when you post:

  • Add closed captions to videos
  • Add alt text to images
  • Capitalise your hashtags like this #GlobalAccessibilityAwarenessDay 
  • Limit emojis to three or less – and put them at the end of your message. Why? Because screen readers will read out every single emoji. 😄🦋🔥😎❤️ becomes “Grinning Face with Big Eyes, Butterfly, Fire, Smiling Face with Sunglasses, Red Heart.”

5. Know where to get support at RMIT

RMIT’s support services are here for every student to feel included, respected and supported in their learning. Get to know the services on offer and reach out for help any time you need it.

It will take me twice as much time as my peers to read and understand something like a news article etc, more so if there is something with advanced ideas or specialised concepts. If it is not accessible I have to spend time searching or emailing the relevant people...which means I will already be behind on my work through no fault of my own.

Anonymous | RMIT Student
(uses a screen reader due to a learning disability)

Want to learn more?

This page content has been developed by RMIT Equitable Learning and Accessibility Team.

Contact us by email: els@rmit.edu.au

20 May 2021

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