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The power of prompts and posters

Making things visible in our society


To look at this, let’s take recycling as an example. We see green bins for our recycling waste, we see instructional stickers or signs near or on bins, we see recycling logos and we see posters.

Recycling is visible in our society, and at the very least people have a basic idea, prompt or awareness of what to do with their plastic drinks bottles or cereal boxes so they can get recycled.

Recycling is educating for the future of our planet, we have all heard that. Digital accessibility is educating for the current and future digital world in which we live.

Digital accessibility potentially impacts around 20% of our society, yet in contrast to recycling it is not visible in society, and in the mainstream most people are not aware. There are no prompts for awareness, no posters, no campaigns and it’s not on the educational curriculum in schools.


Posters for education or marketing campaign

I personally remember content on posters, I walk past them daily at work and I remember those from when I was younger too. Do you remember the one in the swimming pool that said no skidding, no diving and no heavy petting? That particular one has stuck with me since childhood just because I saw it regularly.

It could be argued, especially for recycling that this is about marketing and not education, but digital accessibility awareness is not even on the education curriculum, and I’ve certainly never seen an advertising campaign for considering the digital needs of others.

I’ve only subtly seen a campaign for alt text and one for camel case hashtags, but really they only have preached to those in certain social networks, and not necessarily to those in the wider mainstream or those in education. Digital accessibility is still very much hidden, with lack of awareness in the wider mainstream and sadly overlooked.


Aiming the message at everyone


The message and education needs to be aimed at everyone, after all everyone (even children) now create some sort of digital content in their lives. If we don’t address this people don’t think digital accessibility applies to them, or they are not the target demographic, or it’s not their responsibility.

We need to promote the basics so that people can ‘think digital, think everyone’. There are many basics that people can be aware of and adopt as a starting point that could already make a difference. The basics done well can often trigger awareness and get people thinking. Once that foundation is there it can be built upon to develop a better and more impactful understanding.

So, imagine if we could see or be prompted to be aware of digital accessibility in our environment because of simple posters, take for example some basics like ‘captions on videos’, ‘colour contrast’ or ‘camel case hashtags’, these are very simple concepts that everyone can relate to. From there you could build on and educate that underpinning understanding of support others. You could ‘Learn to enable digital for everyone’

Classroom concepts

Take these classroom concept examples, they are mock-up ideas for awareness, but the Learn to Enable posters could also contain a hashtag to prompt people to visit a website to learn more about digital accessibility and how to do it.

Imagine our next generation walking past these daily in their school or educational life and the message becomes familiar and gets through, just imagine that lightbulb moment at scale.


Or, imagine it was the young people themselves making the posters in class and taking the messages and knowledge home to family and friends.

poster example on a cupboard in a primary classroom environment
poster example on a notice board in a college classroom
poster mock up example for video captions or subtitles
poster example on a wall in a university classroom
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