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By Steve Leatham, Store Manager, Templecombe – High Street

I’ve worked at Co-op for several years now and I’ve seen it change drastically throughout the last decade. I still remember the time when we organised and completed tasks using pen and paper, so it’s impressive to see how far we’ve come with tablets, apps and Office 365. 

Teams has really changed the game, and it was the perfect tool to overcome the challenges we’ve been through as a team and as a business last year. As a Store Manager, it was incredibly easy to work and keep in touch with colleagues, such as my Area Manager.

Masks and social distancing made it difficult for me to communicate with others. I rely on reading lips due to hearing loss in both of my ears, though my hearing aides support me during the day. I found Teams really helped with closed captions and using it for video calls so I could see colleagues also.

How could we improve the experience for other colleagues? 

Making sure that other colleagues have access to the same tools that we benefit from would be a massive help. 

I’m so glad we’re starting to raise awareness of the tools because, like myself, other colleagues have had to test and try and learn for themselves; it’s great to see this campaign happening and raising awareness about how the tools we have can support all colleagues.

What tips can I share?

  • Use closed captions when you’re on a call and consider other colleagues you’re on calls with and what disabilities they may have
  • Where possible, use the video feature for calls so you can see other people’s faces
  • If you need help, ask
  • Have a play around with Office 365 and test the technology out for yourself. You can’t break it!

More information

For more information about how you can manage accessibility settings in O365 or for guidance, visit our 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.