Is your business too small to worry about disability inclusion and accessibility?

Photograph of Jodie Greer smiling, with purple hair, wearing a navy blue short sleeved top and a small silver necklace.


Jodie Greer is a disability inclusion specialist, supporting businesses to look at disability through a holistic lens. She is proud to be the founder of Be #PeopleSmart Ltd.

Logo for Be #PeopleSmart Ltd showing outlines of five figures with various accessibility needs in white on a purple diamond background

Be #PeopleSmart Ltd

Jodie led a discussion with our members about why disability inclusion and accessibility is important in every business, regardless of size.

Both disability inclusion and accessibility play a big part in successful business.
This is why:

80% of disabilities are acquired in adulthood. This means that we need the world to be accessible for all of us and by being inclusive we can retain our customers if their needs change during the time they engage with us.
The global statistic for adults with disabilities is 19%, but in the UK we know it’s more like 23%. This number is expected to keep rising due to the aging population, access to health care, better awareness of neurodivergence and mental health, accident and injury.

How do you communicate for inclusion and accessibility?

The most obvious way anyone engages with a business is through the way they communicate, whether on their website, or through printed or digital media so it’s important that all of these avenues are available to everyone.

Accessible communication doesn’t just enable disabled people, it creates a better experience for everyone.

If your restaurant only has a QR code on your website or poster where people can see the menu, you may be excluding people who use screen readers or may not be able to line up a QR code on their phone camera. Always make sure there’s a QR code and an alternative.

Videos and podcasts should always have captions and transcripts. Avoid the captions where one or two words flash up at a time at random places on a screen. These aren’t accessible for those who rely on captions, as they are difficult to read and they also cause overwhelm resulting in a lot of people not wanting to watch. Stick with the “boring” single line captions with good timing and colour contrast. An example of an affordable and intuitive captioning tool is Clideo, but there are many out there so it’s about finding a solution that works for you.

Transcripts should include speaker identity and any contextual sounds that aren’t verbal. This can be time consuming, but there are automated tools to help. Just:Access provide a transcript service with fast turnaround.

It’s also important to add alternative text (or alt-text) to your images and to describe images used in social media posts. This provides equity for screen reader or narrator users, and for those with low vision who may not use a screen reader.

There’s no hard and fast rule on how to describe an image, it’s all about context and purpose. For example, “a snowy Canadian landscape with skis being held up by the snow” would be more descriptive than “snow”. When adding alt-text behind an image keep it brief, but don’t lose the intent.

Colour contrast is one of the main reasons people struggle to read content. A great way to check your website and images is to use one of the free colour contrast analysers including Webaim and TPGi Colour Contrast Analyser. The TPGi one doesn’t need you to know your colour codes, you can just click on them with your mouse.

Physical Accessibility and travel

Physical accessibility of premises is a topic that needs a whole session to itself along with accessible travel so we’ll leave that for another time.


If you employ people, making sure that different ways of conducting interviews in person, on video or by phone are offered, and check that application forms and ways to submit CVs also don’t exclude people. Do we really even need CVs? Can candidates share their expertise another way?

And don’t forget to ask if candidates need an accessibility adjustment, then wherever possible be ready to make it happen. Having access to the widest talent pool is always a winner.


When organising events there will be a range of different preferences and needs that should be accommodated. The first win is to ask people if they have any accessibility needs. Check-ins via touch screen can be impossible for some people. Offering quiet rooms is recommended. Badges or lanyards that indicate whether people are OK to shake hands, or prefer not to be touched are necessary for some people.

Avatar of Jodie with open arms inviting people to explore more tools and resources on her website.

Whether you already have a diversity & inclusion strategy and want to develop your disability inclusion focus, if you’re not sure where to start or if you simply care about putting people first get in touch with Jodie at Be #PeopleSmart Ltd with any questions.
You can also find Jodie on LinkedIn.