Digital Leaders and AbilityNet put accessibility at the heart of digital design

AbilityNet is the new Accessibility Partner for the Digital Leaders network.

The UK charity has been a global leader in accessibility for 20 years and delivers consultancy and design services to a range of blue chip clients, including Lloyds Banking Group and many other members of the Digital Leaders network.

AbilityNet will deliver a range of events and resources to enable network members to put accessibility and inclusive design at the heart of their digital projects. This includes weekly blog posts, regular webinars, salons and other one-off events.

The Digital Leaders Network has over 50,000 members in the UK and many other countries. Its founder Robin Knowles has worked with AbilityNet over several years and sees this as an ideal way for network members to upgrade all their digital projects.

He said:  “Too many people see accessibility as a bolt on, but AbilityNet and their clients are showing that it is a cost-effective way of delivering better digital products and services for every customer.

“I’m delighted that we will be able to use their expertise to build awareness of inclusive design and demonstrate some of the practical lessons to be learned.”

AbilityNet CEO Nigel Lewis sees the decision to work with Digital Leaders as part of its mission to build a more accessible digital world.

He said: “The members of the Digital Leaders network deliver services and products to millions of people so this is a huge opportunity to change the world for the better. As a charity we use our expertise and resources to put accessibility and inclusive design at the heart of every project.

“Our consultants work with clients from wireframe and initial designs to final testing and customer research. We provide training to digital teams, we deliver events such as TechShare pro to share practical knowledge and we were founding members of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals alongside companies such as Adobe, Microsoft and Lloyds Banking Group.”

A well-known figure at many digital events, AbilityNet’s Head of Digital Inclusion Robin Christopherson was awarded an MBE for his contribution to digital inclusion. He’s excited by the prospect of connecting with the members of the Digital Leaders network.

He said: “I’ve worked in this field for over 20 years and have seen technology become a key part of everyday life. The big shift we’re seeing now is the move to inclusive design – making every digital project work for every possible user.

“That means we’re working with the whole digital team, including designers, researchers, UX specialists, marketing, developers and customer services. We still link directly with accessibility specialists across the world but we also see how this approach is bringing benefits across the business”.