When it comes to physical accessibility, most venues, property owners and developers follow legal accessibility building compliance and also take social sustainability into account. Reporting and impact measurement of accessibility can feel like a challenge, though, so here are some helpful insights along the way.
Accessibility and disability are in focus when it comes to DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging). It is common to simplify the meaning behind the model by this analogy: Diversity is being invited to the party, Equity is being able to attend the dance without any barriers or access issues, Inclusion is being asked to dance and feeling respected and Belonging is not being judged for your dance moves – but accepted, valued and connected to the rest of the group.
The four concepts are closely connected. Diversity refers to the characteristics that make individuals unique, and everyone wants to participate on their terms. Inclusion involves your company’s efforts and fostered behaviours, and belonging is the desired outcome – a good feeling by the employees, but at a larger scale: your customers and clients who drive your business.
One can argue that accessibility is specifically about equity: Every individual has diverse attributes and needs, and therefore need different approaches and resources. This is a fact for every human, but it becomes more evident for people with some kind of disability – be it mobility, hearing, visual, cognitive impairment or allergies.
Since accessibility in the physical environment consists of a vast number of objects and data points, it's a suitable parable for all the different needs you have to cater to. To give you some examples: width of doors, type of doors, the existence of ramps, hearing loops and colour contrasts. And spatially: which building, on what floor and in which room? How can the customer journey from their home to your venue be improved? So they can be able to plan the visit, choose parking and entry and decide where to go depending on their wants and needs. And how can you let them know by communicating about it?
So – how to assess, manage, measure and report your accessibility efforts? When it comes to this area in sustainability reporting, there are not any established detailed frameworks or standards to rely on, yet. (This is actually what Handiscover Accessibility’s product and services are all about – our solution manages your physical accessibility and disability data.) First of all, you need to be very granular and concrete and document the objects and solutions in your building. Secondly: Measuring at all is a great start, but it is equally important to update your data points. You have to be able to add your improvements continuously since there might be changes such as renovations and rebuilding projects and other large investments that need to be tracked. Third, you should inform your clients and customers (and other stakeholders) about your progress – the ones benefiting from your efforts.
A high degree of accessibility at your venue means more visitors feel included, welcome and a sense of belonging, so they want to show up – just as they are.
In short: 3 tips on how to report your efforts
Be granular: Collect and gather very granular data about your accessibility and showcase it for each respective disability. accessibility.
Update changes: Make sure to update your data, at least every six months.
Visualize and communicate: Display your accessibility, so all your visitors know about it beforehand – and choose to come!
Did you know?
Our platform Accessibility Management System enables you to collect and gather very granular data about accessibility, visualized in dashboards. The system even has an automatically generated checklist with recommendations for improving your specific accessibility situation. You can easily download reports on your status.
The platform is continuously being developed with new features by our dedicated tech team. Read about the upcoming news in this interview with our CTO Sebastian Mutsson here.
Our Accessibility Management Program offers you both assessment, education and consultancy regarding all your questions about accessibility and disability. We can assist you along your learning and improvement journey. Learn more here.
How accessibility is connected to the social sustainability reporting frameworks. Read more here.
How a collaboration with Handiscover will fulfil certain Global Goals. Go to the article here.