The latest updates as part of our accessibility mission.

Last year, we announced our mission to become the world’s most accessible digital platform. As part of the mission, we will provide quarterly updates on how as a business we are doing. In this blog we share some of our progress we have made within our last quarter!

Product development 

As part of our most recent product release (Jadu Central 3.0), the engineering and accessibility teams have worked on improving our blog themes and templates within Jadu Central to ensure they meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 AA standard and we have now retired any old blog themes that do not meet these accessibility standards. 

WCAG 2.2 customer updates

It’s been refreshing to see many of our customers being so proactive and wanting to ensure they are meeting WCAG 2.2 AA standards. We’ve been busily supporting customers with accessibility audits and fixes to help them work on their content to meet WCAG 2.2 AA standards. We’re lucky to work with such great organisations who really want to go beyond best practices when it comes to digital accessibility. 

Some of our customers have done particularly well in the Silktide Index over the last quarter, including; 

  • Oxford City Council jumped up 35 places to 11th
  • A recent website go-live Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council jumped up 115 places to 15th
  • A recent website go-live North Warwickshire Borough Council jumped up 272 places to 50th
  • Slough Borough Council remains in the top 20
  • North Sydney Council remains in the top three websites for accessibility on the Silktide Index in Australia at second place.


Training and learning

We’ve launched a new accessibility training program for our partners which is being run by our Head of Accessibility, James Jacobs. This is to help educate our partners to ensure they fully understand digital accessibility, not just within our software and solutions but understanding how accessibility needs to be embedded as a culture with leadership buy-in and support. We’re aiming to deliver this training to all of our affiliate and strategic partners by the end of 2024.  

We've continued with our accessibility champions sessions, bringing together people from all over the organisation to discuss and learn about topics such as creating accessible content, keyboard accessibility, use of colour, and commonly seen issues.

We've run multiple internal developer-focused refresher sessions, exploring the more technical aspects of web accessibility to ensure our developers' knowledge of accessibility is kept up to date.

Our new Business Transformation team is also gearing up for their accessibility training within the next month. At Jadu, all of our employees will go through accessibility training.


Educating the market

We launched our new accessibility webinar series on YouTube, the next video which focuses on creating accessible links is being worked on now. This is to provide tips on simple changes you can apply when creating content to help you meet WCAG 2.2 AA standards. 

We also ran a small workshop with some of our customers and Ability Net’s customers using the Chatham House rule. The event pulled together senior leaders in the Public Sector to discuss accessibility plans, challenges, and priorities while fostering a collaborative, closed-door environment. The session’s aim was to advance accessibility in the public sector. The online session was relaxed and collaborative and was a great opportunity to bring together senior leaders who are driving towards the same digital accessibility goals.

Finally, with AI being the topic of discussion, we interviewed Suraj Kika, CEO at Jadu, James Jacobs, Accessibility Lead at Jadu, and Robin Christopherson, Head of Digital Inclusion at Ability Net to deep-dive into why accessibility, AI, and next-generation technologies need leadership. Without leadership on accessibility, organisations will be unable to benefit from AI and emerging technologies.

The panel discussed how digital accessibility is often only considered in terms of meeting the needs of those with physical or neurodiverse impairments, but the acceleration of AI over the last two years is a wake-up call for organisations to sharpen their accessibility focus. If your digital systems are not accessible, then AI is as hampered as those with disabilities. 

This session is a really powerful insight into the future of accessibility, covering important topics and initiatives that every organisation should be prepared for, but even more so - leading on.

Watch the video: Lead on Accessibility and be AI ready.


Extending our accessibility team 

We’re really excited to share that we’ve extended our Accessibility Team and have hired Catriona Morrison as our new Accessibility Specialist. Catriona has a vast background in accessibility and will support within the team by championing accessibility through advising customers and internal teams on issues and recommended fixes, working on training materials and conducting accessibility audits on websites, design systems and our products. In her own words Catriona says, “My biggest drive for accessibility comes from the simple belief that everyone should have the same right to access, understand and enjoy content regardless of ability, background or device!”

Read more about Catriona and her new role at Jadu.

If you are interested in learning more about accessibility, auditing your content, websites or portals, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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