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Make your accounting firm accessible for all

9th Jul 2024
Brought to you by
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Bright was created in 2021 when Thesaurus Software Ltd. and Relate Software Ltd. decided to join...
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The Office of National Statistics revealed a 13.8% disability pay gap reported in 2021. Along with that, the Equality Act 2010 mandates that businesses make reasonable adjustments to accommodate employees with disabilities. So, how what are some practical ways that accountants can transform their firms into more inclusive spaces? 

Assess your current level of accessibility 

Before making improvements, the first step is to assess the current level of accessibility within your firm. See it as an accessibility audit. Ask staff and clients to get involved for a fuller picture of your firm’s accessibility.

Some areas to consider could include: 

  • The layout of your office

  • Hybrid and flexible working options

  • Wheelchair accessibility

  • Website design and software usage

How can I ensure my office is accessible? 

Entrances and exits 

Accessible entrances and exits are crucial for physical accessibility. This includes installing ramps and ensuring that doorways are wide enough for wheelchairs.

Accessible bathrooms 

Accessible bathrooms are a requirement for any inclusive office. Ensure that restrooms are equipped with handrails, emergency pull cords, and enough space for wheelchair users.

Paperwork 

Ensure that your clients’ paperwork (even brochures and forms) have large enough print that’s universally readable, have high contrast colours, and provide alternative formats like Braille or audio, where applicable.

Think about events 

If you’re running an event (e.g. a seminar), ensure your venue of choice has accommodations where needed. Some of these could include the likes of a sign language interpreter, accessibility to entrances and exits as we mentioned above, and alternative formats for event materials.

Flexible working options 

By offering flexible working options, like hybrid working, remote working, or flexi time, your firm becomes more accessible to people with disabilities.

How can I ensure my firm is digitally accessible? 

Online accessibility 

Make sure to include alt text on any online images on your website and provide transcripts for video content. The tools you use should be compatible with screen readers and offer adjustable settings for font size and contrast. All of this can help individuals with disabilities better access digital content and perform their tasks effectively.

Software and paperwork accessibility 

Aim to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standard, which ensures that your website is usable and understandable for the majority of people with or without disabilities.

At Bright, we’re working to achieve WCAG level AA with our proposal and pricing software, BrightPropose. The colour palette we chose for this product also went through a lot of research and development to be as accessible as possible.

Training and awareness 

Implement accessibility training programs for all employees. This should cover topics like disability awareness, inclusive communication, and how to assist clients with disabilities.

Accessibility doesn’t have to be hard 

Creating a more accessible accounting firm is a continuous process that requires dedication and effort. By implementing the strategies mentioned above, you can ensure that your firm is inclusive and welcoming to all clients and employees. Not only will this enhance your firm's reputation, but it will also contribute to a more equitable and accessible society.

To check out our proposal and pricing software, BrightPropose, sign up for a free demo below.