Helping Australian organisations to become accessible and inclusive

A Griffith University initiative is helping Australian organisations become more accessible by providing crucial insights about how users with disability are able to navigate physical spaces, online spaces, products and services.

Inclusive Voices is a group of people with lived experience of disability supported by researchers to provide first-hand perspectives and innovative solutions that improve an organisation’s inclusion and accessibility.

With more than 18 per cent of the population living with disability, and even more people living with chronic disabling conditions, communities, government, and corporations are looking for ways to foster accessibility for a more inclusive society.

Profile photo of Inclusive Futures: Reimagining Disability Director, Professor Elizabeth Kendall.
Inclusive Futures: Reimagining Disability Director Professor Elizabeth Kendall.

Inclusive Futures Reimagining Disability Director Professor Elizabeth Kendall said Inclusive Voices offers a unique approach to facilitating disability-centric transformation.

“Disability is not a limitation – it allows us to be creative, resilient and inspires innovative solutions,” Professor Kendall said.

“It is important to ensure organisations are meeting the diverse needs of all individuals, and Inclusive Voices provides fresh perspectives from our vibrant and unique community.

“Our lived experience experts provide consultation, research, accessibility checks, design advice, presentations and workshops to foster new perspectives.”

A great example of making organisations more accessible includes an Inclusive Voices service called ‘Easy Read’ which transforms complex documents into an accessible, easy-to-read and easy-to-comprehend source of information.

Inclusive Futures Reimaging Disability Graphic Designer Joe-Anne Kek-Pamenter said the Easy Read service is fully tested by the Inclusive Voices community before receiving the Inclusive Futures stamp of approval.

“People experience different barriers to accessing print and digital content, this may be as a result of disability, cultural and linguistic diversity and education level,” Ms Kek-Pamenter said.

“Our community also includes D/deaf and hard of hearing people who test videos with captions and Auslan interpreting.”

Maretta Mann

Strategic Development Manager, Dr Maretta Mann said Inclusive Voices allows organisations to experience the benefit of collaborating with people with disability.

“We consistently see the benefit of collaborating with people with disability in our own research, and it may seem obvious, but it is amazing how much quicker you can reach a desirable solution when you have the person you are designing for in the room,” Dr Mann said.

“Through the Inclusive Voices initiative people with disability are being valued for their lived experience.

“They are also gaining valuable career development and training opportunities, and we view this as an important step towards addressing inequities in the workplace.”

/University Release. View in full here.