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Inclusive New Media Design

In January I will taking part in a research project aiming to identify the best ways to encourage designers and developers to make websites accessible to people with intellectual disabilities.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Table of contents

The Project

Inclusive New Media Design is project that aims to examine ways that new media can be designed and constructed to help disabled communities, particularly intellectually disabled communities. The project will be run from the University of East London’s Rix Centre and will be lead by Dr Helen Kennedy. You can find out more about the project on the Inclusive New Media Design Website.

What do I know?

I’d say I have a reasonable knowledge of Accessibility in general. I follow WCAG 1 and have attempted to understand WCAG 2 and take it on board where appropriate. I believe in and use Web Standards, I read many blogs written by the standards community and am passionate about making the web open to all. But whilst I have worked on projects specifically aimed at users with disabilities I must confess I have little knowledge about designing for cognitive difficulties. If you have any experience of this and can recommend any resources please leave a comment.

What I’m hoping for

I’m hoping that similar to using Web Standards in general that there will be recommendations or observations that come out of the study that will be relevant for all users and that I can adopt these as standard. I hope that I’ll see that if a site is built the right way that it is no obstacle to users with cognitive disabilities. I’ve seen this first hand for users with motor or visual disabilities. The knowledge gained from these instances showed that ensuring access for all benefited all users. Needless to say I’m looking forward to participating in the project.

Thanks to sponsors the project is making the the book “Just Ask” available for free online. Well worth checking out.

Have an update or suggestion for this article? You can edit it here and send me a pull request.


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