Small change, big impact
There are 14.1 million disabled people in the UK. Yet, within the beauty industry only 4% of brands design products that are inclusive and accessible.
[A11y Video Description: A Black Woman with long plaits and orange extensions wearing a maroon top and a White Woman with a blonde buzzcut wearing a black jumper, stand in a kitchen discussing Inclusion In Practice using British Sign Language].
Making content that is accessible is part of practising inclusion. Here at ħanini skincare, making content that is accessible in BSL, including Braille on product labels and ensuring our website / social media posts include ALT text and image descriptions, is part of the mission to be inclusive.
Recently, I won the ‘Free From’ Skincare Bronze award for Braille labelling, the awards have been going for 12 years and this was the first time they’ve had a small business include Braille on their labels. We also offer five different lid options for our bottled products - we want to make using natural skincare products easier and the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
How are you practising inclusion in your company?
We have created a summary of key considerations, to create a more accessible and inclusive business or service.
Inclusive design creates a world that is more usable for everyone. Innovation led design includes as many people as possible; accessible, usable, effective and enjoyable
There is often more ways a product can be used. Offering choice provides greater individualised options, for example lids and closures. Offering options minimises restriction, for example fragrance free options for sensory differences.
On product labels, in the workplace and the environment.
Create content in BSL, use captions on all voice over videos and always provide interpreters. Join the #RightToSign campaign for BSL GCSE.
Use ALT text, add image / video descriptions. Use enough contrast for typography when using image backgrounds. Capitalise the first letter of each word in hashtags #AccessibilityMatters and use clear fonts.
Equal access, preferably not the back door by the bins.
Includes sensory as well as physical accessibility, minimise sensory stimuli where possible.
Provide clear, honest information regarding accessibility.
Try the 'Tab Test' on your website. Use Accessibility Wizards (our provider is Wix), audit panels or vision previews. Check out #a11y (the shorthand for accessibility) or platforms such as webAIM, Accessibility Insights or AChecker.
Provide options for communication, such as email, text, call, video call.
Life costs more if you're disabled, fact. Accessibility also means financial, if it doesn't cost extra to produce - don't make it cost extra for us just because.
Accommodation is tailored to the individual only, inclusion creates an inclusive environment for all (@blindishlatina).
Representation matters. Hire diverse teams, involve diverse users, and create equal opportunities.
Education is key. Are you providing Disability or Deaf awareness training? Make sure it is lived experience led.
Create guidance, inclusion statements and clear accommodations processes.
Always provide Sign Language interpreters.
How to be an ally?
Use the word disability - it isn't a bad word.
Learn, read, watch and listen to things about disability.
Think accessibility and inclusion, make it an integral part of your life, work and business.
Be an 'active anti-ableist' (Tiffany Yu).
Follow and support activists and advocates.
Small change, big impact
This time last year my business looked very different. Slowly, I made small changes that had a big impact.
Nothing is perfect - it’s work in progress.
Be honest and open - ‘we’re working on it, if you have any suggestions or ideas, please contact us’. Look to the future, be a part of the change - no matter how big or small.
Inclusion is a movement, not a moment (Sinead Burke / Tilting The Lens).
(I love you in Maltese)