VodafoneZiggo is committed to making the digital world more accessible for everyone. The main principle is to talk not about, but with the target audience. On Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), dozens of colleagues with experience in this area discuss the accessibility of products, websites, and services.

About one in five Dutch people has a disability, such as visual or motor impairments or low literacy. This makes it difficult to use digital information, products, and services. VodafoneZiggo continuously investigates, together with customers, colleagues, experts, and people with firsthand experience, how accessibility can be improved.

Leaving no one behind
VodafoneZiggo aims for everyone to participate in the rapidly developing digital society without leaving anyone behind. Programs to help young and older people develop digital skills have been a significant focus for some time. VodafoneZiggo also ensures connectivity availability for vulnerable groups in collaboration with the Alliantie Digitaal Samenleven and partners. Additionally, the accessibility of physical and digital products, websites, and services for people with disabilities is a crucial focus. Questions like “Are there enough comfortable workspaces for colleagues who are easily overstimulated?” and “Are our websites, apps, media boxes, and remote controls usable by everyone?” are addressed. “An adjustment on our part makes a world of difference for them,” says Maartje Vrolijk, CSR manager, who, along with a team of colleagues from the entire organization, focuses on accessibility.

Accessibility in our DNA
“Accessibility must be part of all our activities, part of our DNA. From design to delivery to the customer,” emphasizes Vrolijk. Collaboration within and outside the organization is essential for this. We work with customers, colleagues, expert parties, and people with firsthand experience in accessibility. For example, we have a community for customers with disabilities and an employee network with people who have firsthand experience. They help us make our products, services, and (digital) work environment more accessible. Visually impaired Falco van Dinteren, an employee at VodafoneZiggo, confirms this: “Since 2023, we have a great tool to bring colleagues closer together through anonymous chat sessions on various topics related to diversity and inclusion. During the tool's test, I found I couldn’t use it with my screen reader. In collaboration with the developer, the tool is now accessible, and I also use it. That’s a great example of inclusion.” Additionally, some colleagues have set up an “accessibility guild”: a collaboration of designers, developers, editors, and people with firsthand experience. This guild started as a small team and has now grown to dozens of colleagues with diverse specializations. They identify digital accessibility issues and learn from each other.

10. voicecontrol (p.46 entertainment)

Accessibility: a better experience for everyone
Thanks to these collaborations, VodafoneZiggo has already implemented many improvements. “We adapted our brand guidelines for better colour contrast, alternative texts, and navigation options for screen readers, so people with visual impairments can use the website better. We also strive for simple and understandable language, at a B1 language level—a level that most people can easily understand,” says Vrolijk. “The beauty of accessibility is that it also provides a better experience for people without disabilities. For instance, I find it convenient that our remote control has voice control. And with the eSIM, no one gets frustrated installing the SIM card in the phone with a pin.”

Keep sharing
“We learn every day. What works and what doesn’t. We are on the right path and proud of what we have already achieved. At the same time, we still have much to do and are never finished,” says Vrolijk. With the guidelines for digital accessibility (WCAG 2.2) and the European Accessibility Act, we will ultimately make a significant step towards accessibility. The open conversations with internal experts, such as on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, really make a difference. Together, we discuss whether problems are well understood or really solved. For instance, a concrete idea for low-stimulus workspaces in the office emerged. A height-adjustable stool in the stores was also mentioned, not only for colleagues but also for customers. It's nice to mention that this suggestion has already been incorporated into new store concepts. Only in this way, together, can we create an accessible VodafoneZiggo for everyone, both internally and externally.