17-May-19 | News

2-6 Digital Success in less than 3 minutes by Paul Smyth from Barclays Accessibility Team

“Digital Success in less than 3 minutes”

We celebrated Global Accessibility Awareness Day with the launch of 6 videos on accessibility in the workplace.

These videos feature how small changes can make a big difference.

Our vision is to have an inclusive society where disability and health conditions do not present a barrier in education or in the workplace through Assistive Technology, Ergonomics and creating an accessible environment.

This is the second video of our 6 series of accessibility in the workplace.

Let’s hear from Paul Smyth from Barclays Accessibility Team. #DigitalSuccessin3mins

Digital Success in less than three minutes. I’m Paul and I work in the accessibility team at Barclays. I’m severely sight impaired which means I struggle navigating around. I find it difficult to recognize people, their faces and dealing with paperwork is nigh on and impossible for me, but luckily if I get information electronically in an accessible formats and with the right assistive tech tools, for me then the sky’s the limit. In terms of using mainstream technologies, I use them very much for similar ways as everyone else so I have a smartphone an iPhone and I can take advantage of some of the free and built-in accessibility settings so again to zoom up and to speak aloud
information so that I can learn, I can work on the go with my iPhone or with an iPad to check and respond to emails for example and connect with friends and family just like anyone else. When I think about new and emerging mainstream technology I think the things that excites me is if very much voice Interfaces, so Amazon echoes and so forth and things without a screen that you’d have to see to interact with so just being able to use my voice to send a message to someone with an additional assistant or with Amazon echo is
again hugely enabling and empowering for me in something I’m really excited about. I’m a positive proactive problem solver who’s had to find workarounds to everyday life from navigating public transport to preparing food and I think these attributes about being determined, creative, resilient and having a great memory have really helped in the workplace and I think being really interested in technology in gadgetry that will help me and make my life easier is also a huge positive in a strength. I know that people that creates our e-learning expenses and performance management systems don’t intentionally
exclude me as someone with disability but that’s the feeling I get when the system doesn’t work for me my assistive technology to be excluded and isolated from using it and I guess it makes me feel a bit like a second-class citizen that they didn’t think about making sure that their software system worked for everyone and I think about one in five people having a disability and about this huge chunk of their customer segments or their workforce that is excluded and isolated from taking part what advice would I give to other organizations wanting to do more in this space I think it’s
really important to firstly consider for diverse needs of everyone think about how your site system would work someone with impairment X Y Z secondly, I think to consult to ask real world people that have a range of impairments or access needs giving your colleagues or your customers that you truly understand and listen as to what’s wrong and how things can be improved. I think third and finally is to of course hire diverse talents so people with disabilities who help build your products or systems your services so that things are built inclusively right first time and what your workforce reflects the diversity of the customers that you serve and the communities that you operate within. This video was produced for Business Disability Forum in collaboration with BBC and Microlink. With thanks to Anya Otto from Atos, Joanna Wootten Age, Disability and Inclusion Expert, Nicola James from Lexxic, Paul Bepey from BBC, Paul Smyth from Barclays, Ross Hovey from Lloyds Banking Group.