A BAGENALSTOWN-based digital agency is giving tips to local businesses of how to make their online offering more inclusive in light of Deaf Awareness Week.
Deaf Awareness Week, an annual event used to celebrate the deaf community, was held last week 1-7 May.
Stratticus, based in Bagenalstown, is sharing its top five tips to help businesses create a more inclusive website and digital experiences when many people within the deaf community face digital exclusion daily.
Tips include subtitles or auto captions on videos and include multiple contact options such as email and live chat.
Stratticus is a full-service digital agency that specialises in accessible design. Clients include the National Council for the Blind (NCBI) and IALabs. Creative director John Foy said: “A fully inclusive website and digital presence ensure that you connect with each and every customer. Stratticus is the go-to creative agency for accessible design. Our mantra is: ‘leave no customer behind’.”
He added: “We believe no-one should experience digital discrimination, and inclusion does not mean compromising the design aesthetic.” See www.stratticusstudio.com for more information.
Top 5 tips to help businesses create a more inclusive website and digital experiences
- Include subtitles or auto-captions on all videos.
Hearing-impaired people are excluded from video content that relies on the spoken word to convey its message. Include subtitles or closed captions when creating video content. There are multiple tools are available to help with this, for example:
Pro tip: double-check auto-captions for accuracy as they occasionally misunderstand a word.
- Upload video via YouTube, which has accessible features build-in.
Closed captions (CC) are available to all YouTube browsers. Browsers can select the subtitles/closed caption button to turn on captioning for all videos. This inbuilt accessible feature makes it easier for business owners to communicate effectively with hearing-impaired customers.
Pro tip: Browsers can adjust the playback speed in setting on YouTube and take their time to read the captions.
- Make a transcript of the video content available.
Include a link to a PDF transcript copy for all video content across your website and digital platforms. Ensure this is easy to locate and download.
Pro tip: For story-telling videos, include a description of audio cues to give the reader a richer experience, for example, birds chirping, the creaking floorboards etc.
- Use a sign language interpreter for video calls.
For video conferencing, the conversation can be lost over auto-captioning. It can be tiring and frustrating for hearing-impaired people to keep up with the subtitles in a dynamic, energised meeting. The best practice is to provide a sign-language interpreter.
- Include multiple contact options: email or live chat.
Could you provide multiple contact options for your customers rather than just a phone number? Email, forms, or live web chat are alternative ways to be digitally inclusive.