Skipton Building Society champions accessibility with communications toolkit

Skipton makes strides on its journey to becoming the most accessible building society in the country

Skipton Building Society has funded the creation of a national inclusive toolkit to help UK businesses across all industries improve their communications.

The UK’s fourth-largest building society has teamed up with the Business Disability Forum to provide £23,760 to create a toolkit dedicated to improving the communications between businesses, colleagues and customers, considering accessibility needs.

The inclusive toolkit was created after Skipton began its journey to become the most accessible building society in the country but struggled to find supportive resources for guidance. After using resources from the Business Disability Forum, Skipton approached the organisation to explore the possibilities of creating something bigger to support the forum’s entire membership and partnership network.

The new toolkit provides a series of insightful resources that will enable businesses to improve their communications across their channels and ensure they are catering to the needs of their audience. Resources have been created by Skipton and other members of the Business Disability Forum contributing articles including; easily accessible advice, making small print accessible, best practise case studies, blogs and videos, standards and guidance, and much more.

Craig Goold, Head of Customer Experience at Skipton Building Society, said: “It has been a fantastic opportunity to be able to support the Business Disability Forum in creating a series of resources that will enable customers to engage with businesses in a way that they may have never been able to previously.

“The importance of accessible communications continues to rise, and it has become even more crucial during the current Covid-19 pandemic. The needs of businesses and customers are rapidly changing to cater to an unpredictable environment, and digital communications are becoming one of the most important tools at our disposal. We hope these resources will support us and any business who is looking to review their accessibility in their communications.

“At Skipton, we will always continue to review and improve our accessibility requirements, as we work towards our Sustainable Development Goal; peace, justice and strong institutions. The Sustainable Development Goals is a set of goals that tackle important issues and aims to transfer the world by 2030.

“But it’s brilliant that we can support other businesses on their accessibility journey too. Our previous internal research revealed that almost 50 per cent of our customers identified that they have some accessibility requirement. As a business, it is our responsibility and is absolutely the right thing to do to ensure that we are reaching these customers with clear and accessible communications.”

Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum, said: “We would like to thank Skipton Building Society for recognising the importance of inclusive communication to disabled customers and colleagues and sponsoring this toolkit. We hope the resources in the toolkit will provide practical advice for organisations on including disabled people in their communications.

“Some disabled customers and colleagues experience particular barriers when it comes to accessing and processing information. It is the responsibility of organisations to remove these obstacles and make their products and services accessible to everyone. With the annual spending power of disabled people estimated to be £249 billion, it is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense.”

Business Disability Forum’s launch video featuring Skipton Building Society, with audio description.
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