Increase Your Audience by being Accessible – Access to Digital Content

 

Attention Arts organizations – the information contained here may prove invaluable. Access (SCS) Consulting Services can help you solve your accessibility needs and increase your patronage.

 

Arts organizations have long been struggling financially; this in part has to do with cuts to arts funding and in part due to declining audiences. Making your venue accessible for people with disabilities, seniors, friends and family can increase your profitability.

 

People with disabilities make up 15.5% of the population, which is a significant number when you consider audience development.  Providing access to digital content, making exhibits and performances accessible could help to capture this market. People with disabilities, seniors and their companions have money to spend and want to enjoy the arts.

 

While Arts organizations are slowly beginning to make an effort to make events accessible with audio description, closed captioning and ASL, they consistently disregard one very important aspect of making their events fully accessible: access to digital content.  Potential patrons may not be able to interact with content on websites, PDF documents, forms, ticketing information, videos and other content.  As a result, your organization may not be attracting a large segment of the population that can make your events more profitable. These barriers need to be addressed if change is to happen.

 

The goal here is to make the arts accessible to all people – a goal that needs to be adopted both in the material universe as well as in policy-making circles. We must ensure that all people, artists and patrons, have the ability to participate in the arts with ease and dignity. This is a win/win situation for everyone!

 

What Is Digital Content?

Digital content is any information that is published or distributed in digital form, including; text, data, sound recordings, photographs and images, motion pictures and software.

What Needs To Be Made Accessible?

  • Web Design and Usability (including online ticketing)
  • Text and data
  • photographs, images
  • Audio/Video
  • PDF (including documents, applications and facility rental forms)
  • Word and PowerPoint documents
  • Events and Performances

 

As more information is transferred electronically, making digital content accessible becomes a social responsibility, especially if the content is meant for the public.

 

Making digital content accessible is neither a difficult nor an expensive task. Most common software applications like Adobe PDF maker and Microsoft Office have built-in tools for making documents accessible.

 

While providing accessibility benefits people with disabilities who are deemed a large minority group, it should not be forgotten that these same features are useful for seniors, people who have low internet bandwidth, and individuals accessing content through mobile devices. Making digital content simple to interact with is a priority when attracting a wide audience.

 

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) outlines the following four basic principles in making websites accessible:

 

Perceivable — Information and user interface components must be presentable to users such that they can perceive the presented information, i.e. it can’t be invisible to all their senses.

 

Operable — Users must be able to operate interface components and navigate. The interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform.

 

Understandable— Users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface.

 

Robust— Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. Users must be able to access the content even as technologies advance.

 

ACCESS (SCS) CONSULTING SERVICES

What makes Access (SCS) Consulting Services Different?

We engage experienced arts practitioners with disabilities who understand the industry as well as accessibility compliance standards.

Website Audits

Ensure that your website is accessible. We can provide:

 

  • Evaluation of your site using WCAG 2.0 and W3C guidelines,U.S.section 508 of the rehabilitation act and AODA legislation
  • Explanation of what and where the problems are, including a ranking of priorities and specific instruction on what needs to be done to address each issue
  • Overall best practices, recommendations
  • A usability section provided by both screen magnifier and screen reader users

Document Conversion

  • Convert your documents into an accessible format that works with adaptive technologies.
  • Adapting document styles and formats in Word, PowerPoint and other formats
  • Creating accessible PDFs from documents in Word, PowerPoint and other formats
  • Modifying your existing PDFs with accessibility tags and alternative text for images
  • Converting your existing PDFs into other formats such as accessible HTML, Word and PowerPoint

Special Workshops and Seminars

  • Accessibility training
  • Accessible web design to reach a wider audience
  • Document Accessibility
  • Performance and Event accessibility:
    • Audio Description
    • Captions
    • TouchTours
    • ASL 

 

 

Leave the Accessibility to Us!

Need help making digital content accessible?  Contact Access (SCS) Consulting Services to try our NEW website design and PDF document conversion services. Our new associate, Wanda Fitzgerald, is an expert accessibility and digital content consultant with more than 15 years experience. We make existing documents, forms or other digital content accessible.  Our prices will make you smile. Our expert services will make you accessible! See www.access-scs-consulting.com or call 416-561-7942.

About Access (SCS) Consulting

http://www.access-scs-consulting.com/about.htm
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