In our quest to navigate business and social situations with grace, we often turn to etiquette as a solution. Etiquette helps us establish, nurture, and manage our relationships, fostering relatability, trust, and approachability. It guides us to lead with integrity, confidence, consistency, and authenticity.
However, as our technological capabilities have rapidly advanced, our understanding of etiquette, inclusion, and acceptance has not always kept pace. In today’s evolving landscape, being a savvy CEO requires us to broaden our perspectives when it comes to the etiquette of inclusion. We need to be more mindful and intentional about our approach to accessibility.
Etiquette has long been recognized as a powerful relationship building tool. Practicing good etiquette enhances our professional reputation, gains trust, shows respect to others, and creates an environment of mutual understanding and cooperation. It allows us to communicate effectively, navigate diverse social situations, and project a positive image for our business brand and our brand reputations.
On the other hand, accessibility plays a crucial role in fostering inclusivity within our organizations and beyond. By prioritizing accessibility, we ensure that our workplaces, products, and services are usable and welcoming to all individuals, regardless of their abilities.
Accessibility allows us to tap into the talents and inspiration of an under-served community, as well as, expand our customer base while demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility and empathy.
To truly excel in this entrepreneurial space, we need to combine the principles of etiquette and accessibility.
By doing so, we create a holistic approach to inclusion that encompasses not only interpersonal interactions but also the physical and digital spaces we operate in.
By understanding and implementing etiquette and accessibility principles, you can develop an etiquette inclusion plan for your business, one that fosters an environment of respect, accessibility, and success.
Importance of Accessibility and Etiquette for Businesses
Accessibility in business and social situations refers to the practice of creating an environment that is welcoming and inclusive to all individuals, regardless of their abilities or background. This means removing physical and systemic barriers that may prevent individuals from fully participating in social and professional settings. Accessibility can take many different forms, including having wheelchair ramps, assistive technologies, and providing alternate formats for information such as braille or audio descriptions. In addition to physical accommodations, accessibility also involves creating a culture of respect and inclusivity by using inclusive language and making efforts to address and accommodate individual needs.
So how does one improve on accessibility in business?
Create an Etiquette Inclusion Plan for your business. Feel free to use these 5 guidelines to get you started.
- Conduct an accessibility audit. Review your digital spaces, physical spaces, and communication materials for areas in which you need to grow, as well as, praising your progress for where you glow.
- Engage with accessibility experts. These partnerships can provide valuable insights, resources, education and support in developing and implementing an accessibility plan.
- Provide clear & accessible communication tools. Learn to use closed captioning, sign language interpretation, and audio descriptions. Offering accessible documents, including text-to-speech and Braille options.
- Ensure that websites, mobile applications, and even social media platforms utilize accessibility features.
- Evaluate & Improve. Review your plan regularly. Be sure to consult with an expert and stay abreast of trends and best practices.
Practice Makes Progress.
Remember, creating an etiquette accessibility plan requires willingness, ongoing intention and deliberate action to adapt your business practices to remain inclusive and accessible.
By prioritizing accessibility in your physical spaces, digital platforms, communication practices, and interactions, you create an environment that truly fosters stronger relationships, enhances customer satisfaction, and opens doors to a broader audience.
Embrace the opportunity to lead the way in creating an entrepreneurial culture that values etiquette and accessibility, and watch as it positively impacts your reputation, growth, and overall success.
About Erin Perkins & Mabely Q
Erin Perkins (she/her)
Founder & CEO
I’m deafblind, though I can still hear with the help of my hearing aid & cochlear implant (without them, I’m profoundly deaf). I can see only 50 degrees… if you’re waving to me, and I don’t wave back…the chances are pretty high that I didn’t see or hear you!
I started Mabely Q under the guise of being an operations manager and graphic designer. It wasn’t until I worked with business owners and mentors that I realized how few actually understood what accessibility was. I pivoted and dove right into accessibility education.
I love that I get to teach businesses how to be accessible by leaning on my life experiences which I share with others to foster true inclusion at all levels, and also teaching in a way that feels good. My mission is to make the world more accessible one business at a time.
Access Erin’s Social Media Accessibility Scorecard. This scorecard will guide you effortlessly in conducting a comprehensive self-assessment of the accessibility of your social media platforms.
Want to dive in even further with Accessibility? You are a business that makes a positive impact in society. One that delivers a top notch customer experience and are ready to be accessible to all. Introducing Successible, a platform that jumpstarts your journey towards accessibility! It offers practical tips that gives you immediate improvements, and connects you with like-minded entrepreneurs on a similar path. Join Successible (a word play with success and accessible), and let’s start making an impact together!
Connect with Erin on Instagram here.
Head to Erin’s website here to learn more.