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Global Accessibility Awareness Day

09 May 2013

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

 

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Ryan Soper-Powell

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Today (May 9th) is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (or GAAD for short) and it’s all about getting people talking, thinking and learning about digital accessibility. Every year, on this day, hundreds of organisations around the world hold events to raise awareness about accessibility and with this in mind, I wanted to share some insight into activity here at Virgin Media.

We know that digital technology can help you with everyday tasks, from shopping online to contacting your local council, and it continues to open up new ways to communicate with friends and family wherever they may live. We also recognise that almost a fifth of the population in the UK live with a health condition or impairment that can affect their digital lives, such as sight and hearing problems, speech and language difficulties, challenges with dexterity and mobility or even the ability to understand and use technology.

At Virgin Media, we're committed to providing everyone with a digital life without limits. So we've kicked off a whole heap of activity this year to help us improve the accessibility of our products and service experiences to make them more enjoyable for everyone. For example:

1) We’re engaging our staff to help drive momentum and deliver improvements:
We'll be refreshing our training, policies and processes, inviting our staff to share their stories, and much more.

2) We'll support others to demonstrate how important this is to our business:
We're launching a series of partnerships, (more about this at a later date) and we are proudly sponsoring Paralympian Richard Whitehead’s run from John O’Groats to Land’s End in August 2013.

3) Communicating openly with existing and prospective customers:
This commitment starts soon and runs beyond 2013. We’ll be exploring ways we can better engage our people with our story, making more of the accessibility features of our products and services.

Our Group Executive Committee supports all this activity. The agenda is closely linked to our business strategy around being champions of brilliant customer service and providing irresistible entertainment and services across all devices. As with our approach to sustainability, we're not viewing this as a project, but rather, it’s about ensuring everyone internally can take ownership to help us deliver continuous improvement. It's all about embedding accountability.

We’d love to hear from you…do you know someone living with a health condition or impairment that means they can’t get the most out of our products and services or workplace today? What specifically could we do to help you or them? You can email us at accessibility@virginmedia.co.uk

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