When you are planning community-related projects that require the consultation of stakeholders such as the citizens of the area, the online engagement platform you select must be accessible. We have put together this blog to explain to you exactly what accessibility means, why it’s key to your selected tools, and what you should be looking for when researching different engagement software to ensure it is accessible.
What is accessibility?
For something, such as a website or application, to be deemed accessible, it must be able to be used by all people, including those who are elderly, disabled, or have other conditions that affect their abilities. If anyone, no matter their level of ability, can use a website, then this is what the term ‘accessibility’ refers to.
Why is accessibility important?
Whether it is unintentional or not, if a platform, website, application etc. is not accessible to all people then it is discriminatory and must be resolved as quickly as possible. Excluding anyone from being able to use a product, site or service is poor business practice, and also violates discrimination laws.
You will also not be able to communicate with all the citizens you need to during a project, which means any data you collect will not accurately reflect all those who have an interest in or will be affected by your plans.
What you should look for in community engagement software
When you are searching for community engagement software, the platforms you consider should:
- Enable text to be resized for the visually impaired
- Have the option for all images/videos to include captions for the visually impaired
- Provide an inbuilt reliable language translator to enable all people to view information and respond in their native language
- Enable the organisation hosting the site to build the engagement website in their native language and present in their native language as well
- Provide options to install text-to-speech technologies
- Include a range of tools that different types of learners respond to. For example, the VARK model talks about four kinds: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic learners.
Engagement Hub’s fifteen informative tools cover the different ways people prefer to learn. For the visual learner, images and videos are more captivating and assist with the interpretation of a concept, making them better able to understand.
Some of the visual tools included in the Engagement Hub platform include video/image polls, video and image galleries, project banners and the Embed Anything tool to share information and insight with the community.
Effective, accessible community consultation and engagement software by Engagement Hub
Our platform has all of the above features, making it the ultimate accessible online citizen engagement tool. Local councils, architects, large and small companies all benefit from using our community engagement platform to host their site. Our system is also designed with accessibility in mind, for those who may be visually-impaired, hearing-impaired or otherwise disabled.
Engagement Hub’s Organisation Ambassadors will talk you through all of the features of our software, answer any of your questions and provide you with ongoing support once you have joined us and are ready to set up your own consultation and engagement site. Contact us now for more information.