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The S.M.A.R.T. Foundation 2018 Digital Health & Literacy Campaign

Around 2,000,000 kids leave school every year functionally and digitally illiterate with poor or very slow reading rates in effect excluded from text based learning.

The S.M.A.R.T. Foundation Digital Health & Literacy Campaign provides a recognisable start point or launch pad toward addressing, what is now regarded as a Global Pandemic in Display Screen Equipment use or operation in the workplace and education, the need for optimising display screen ergonomics or accessibility to mitigate the high risk of eye-strain (Asthenopia) commonly known as Computer Vision Syndrome or Screen Fatigue.

The Business Case for Accessibility and Inclusive Design | Digital Leaders

Predictable, Foreseeable, Known or Should Be Known, may all be legal terms nevertheless, whether in common law or legislation negligence, contributory or otherwise, focuses on what may or may not be “reasonable”, whether in compliance with any duty of care deficit old or new, from GDPR or the 2010 Equality Act, Trading Standards or any occupational health legislation going back to 1974 or new ISO 45001 working toward nudging reasonable “Work Exposure Limits” and better management of stressors as, human risk factors.

The business case for accessibility in the IOT or business intranets is clear nevertheless, whether by accident or design, DSE accessibility and associated risks of repetitive stress injuries has ‘slipped through the net’, as they say, in terms of Health & Safety and, it is only now, in the chain of causation of many major incidents where significant loss of life has occurred that, the role of work-stress and fatigue has played in ‘critical safety errors’ is being taken more seriously as a major contributory human factor in accidents.

Accepting, not all DSE workers are in safety critical roles, performance and particularly productivity losses due to presenteeism, exacerbated by over-exposure to sub-optimal screen interface ergonomics (accessibility) as, a causal factor in mild to more serious levels of eye-strain affecting the majority of user operators with too many going-on to develop work-related WULD’s & MSD’s, is a long over-looked business cost that could have been mitigated over the years, had it not been ignored or omitted from reasonable risk assessment, even though it is entirely predictable and has been a known or should have been known human risk factor in the workplace and education.

On the subject of losses, the cost of presenteeism in the UK alone, has been estimated at £30bn plus, with double that in social costs, representing some 57.2 days overall lost productivity and we estimate that the average loss of performance or efficiency in DSE operators deficits in accessibility accounts for 20%, or 30 days lost productivity, a significant proportion of that total.

However, there is some good news, as we have been using our Digital Literacy Tool-kit in education for sometime now and, having had one of those epiphanies, realised it could also be used in the workplace not just to improve accessibility but, reduce and mitigate the early onset of eye-strain and the debilitating performance sapping symptoms of CVS and/or Screen Fatigue along with reducing the risk of developing WULD’s & MSD’s.

So, we are now looking for supporters Ambassadors and sponsors to enable us to launch the S.M.A.R.T. Digital Health & Literacy Campaign in the UK, and beyond in due course.

To this end, we have booked a stand at the Youth Justice Convention Tuesday 27th & Wednesday 28th November 2018, King Power Stadium, Leicester and, in the meantime would like to hear from anyone expressing an early interest in supporting the campaign and, of course, look forward to seeing you at the Youth Justice Convention.

Extract from recent Digital Leaders / Abilitynet Webinar 19th April 2018

Legal Benefits

If financial and brand benefits are the carrots, the legal issues represent the stick. Investing in accessibility will help mitigate legal risks and ensures that you will avoid litigation – avoiding costs and the brand damage associated with legal proceedings.

Many of our clients have come to us with concerns about compliance, especially multinationals with services in the United States, where legal action by interest groups is much more high profile and costly. But don’t assume that you’re safe if you’re UK-only as they still happen here, it’s just that the reputation risk is so high that those cases are usually settled before they reach court.

The Equality Act 2010 made it illegal to discriminate against people on the grounds of nine Protected Characteristics – such as disability, gender, race, age and so on. For example if your website or app isn’t accessible it could be preventing people from applying for jobs – which would make you vulnerable to claims of discrimination in recruitment.

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 will also be relevant if people can shop using your app or website. Can people using a screen reader put things in the basket on your site? If not you could be breaking the law.

Business case, not business strategy

There are some very obvious reasons why any organisation needs to consider accessibility:
•Huge market opportunities
•Better products and services
•Brand loyalty
•Save money
•Legal risks
•Beat your competitors.

It’s important to add that whatever case is made to invest in accessibility you will still need to look at your existing business strategy and how to exploit the opportunities and avoid the threats. Our customers mention touch-points such as investing in better training, building a more inclusive culture, raising awareness across digital disciplines, adapting design processes and promoting their successes.

Follow this link to to find out more about the corporate campaign.

The Business Case for Accessibility and Inclusive Design | Digital Leaders

The business case for accessibility and inclusive design