Do sustainability and accessibility go hand in hand?
As part of some recent research we undertook for a client, I had the onerous task of visiting council websites from across Scotland, England and Wales. To say they were a mixed bag would be the understatement of the year. It struck me that far from leading the way on sustainable development, many of the organisations we looked at were struggling to communicate anything at all in a way that average people would understand. It gave me a real insight into the frustration that must be felt in trying to communicate with some of these bodies.
Our approach at Seventeen has always been that sustainability and accessibility should go hand in hand. That’s not just in terms of accessibility with a capital “A” if you like – wheelchair access, provision for those with hearing or sight issues, or special dietary requirements – it also applies to small scale accessibility. Can the people who need to use your website access it easily, without getting bogged down in endless sub-pages which inevitably lead to an anonymous online form? Is your contact phone number easy to find? Are you open and transparent about who is making decisions within your organisation?
This level of transparency is an integral building block of sustainable development. Without a digital “paper trail” of documentation it will be impossible to judge whether what you’re doing is actually having an effect, or just empty talk.
We have always tried to be open and honest in our decision making processes. If you’d like to find out more about our approach to sustainability, feel free to get in touch.