Website and mobile solutions specialist Sigma has claimed that the UK Government must make more effort to make its coronavirus information releases more accessible to those with disabilities.
Sigma, founded in 2007, said in a release: “Images and videos shared by television stations, news outlets and social media accounts have lacked translation and explanation for those with disabilities, including hearing, sight and cognitive impairments.”
Sigma further claimed that this extends to key information from healthcare services like GP surgeries and pharmacies, as well as utility companies.
In response to the problem Sigma has created an accessible content toolkit of free online resources to make communications more accessible for all.
It includes information about the importance of video captions, transcripts of audio and video, as well as image and video descriptions.
The guide also has suggestions of software tools that creators can use in applying such features to their content.
Hilary Stephenson, managing director at Sigma, said: “It is fundamental that everyone in society has the same access to information, especially in situations like the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“Information that could prevent the spread of the virus and even save lives is inaccessible to many with disabilities, as it does not consider the needs of all users. It is a health risk for individuals to not be fully informed.
“There are more than 1 billion people living with some form of disability worldwide, with 14.1 million living in the UK. We urge all content creators to consider these tools and steps when creating and sharing content.
“Not only for those registered with a disability, but those who are not yet registered, as well as our ageing population, which is at higher risk of the virus. Increasing inclusivity could mean the difference between life and death!”