FEATURE28 January 2019

Full and equally accessible research

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Features Impact Legal UK

Promoting diversity and inclusion as integral to organisational culture is slowly becoming part of the accepted approach and values of ethically responsible researchers and research companies. Michelle Goddard writes that with this increasing attention and commitment, it is important to ensure that accessibility is explicit.

Legal- impact 24

Accessibility in research should be viewed as the design of research products, devices, platforms, services and environments to meet the needs of people with disabilities. It ties in with data protection obligations that emphasise transparency and tailoring of privacy information for different audiences.

It is underpinned by the Equality Act of 2010, which entrenches accessibility to specified services and places a duty on organisations to make reasonable adjustments for disabled users’ needs.

Although a binding legal obligation under the Equality Act will seldom be applicable to commercial market researchers, there will always be the ethical duty to ensure research projects reflect the wide diversity of our world and respect the rights and wellbeing of all individuals. Everyone in research must make efforts to ensure research participants with disabilities can take part and access the same projects, in similar time and with similar effort, as those participants who are not disabled. So what should inform an accessibility strategy in research? ...