By Steve Murray, Head of College Technology and Natalie Clegg, Chair of the Represent Network

This month, we’re raising awareness of the accessibility features available through our technology. We’ll be highlighting tips and tricks, useful guidance, sharing stories from our colleagues and delivering a focused webinar that’ll teach us more about the tools we use everyday. 

To get us started, we spoke to Natalie Clegg, Represent chair, to get her thoughts: 

Accessibility is incredibly important. For disabled colleagues, accessibility means being able to access content, communications, meetings and collaboration tools just like everyone else, without barriers. As services like Office 365 continue to develop their accessibility offering, with new tools and updates happening regularly, the more easily disabled colleagues can access the things they need. 

We often associate accessibility as something only disabled people need, but as all of our lives become busier, with less boundaries between home and work, our needs change. Understanding what tools are available to us means we can access everything, no matter what our requirements are – and also means we’re all more aware of the needs of others. 

Accessibility is a conversation for all colleagues, whether we’re using the tools for ourselves, or supporting each other – whether that’s using closed captions when you’re presenting so everyone can be involved, providing transcripts on your video content, or using alt text on images in your documents. Some things can seem really small, but they can make a huge difference to someone else. 

The tools available to us are often being updated, improving our user experience. Office 365 has enabled us all to continue working and collaborating throughout the pandemic, though there are probably lots of great accessibility tips and tools that we didn’t know were available. This campaign will highlight how accessibility can improve the experience of using our tech for everyone, no matter what our requirements are. 

Over the coming weeks, you’ll hear more about the Office 365 accessibility features but in the meantime you can watch our short video blog on Microsoft Stream*.

For further advice, take a look at the Accessibility site. You can also sign up to the next Office 365 Accessibility webinar on 19 August 3-4pm or Accessibility – Neurodiversity on 23 September 2-3pm

*You’ll need an Office 365 account to watch the video.