A Note on Inclusion
Inclusion … gulp.
This is an exciting period at Clarity NPO, as we launch our services and open our virtual doors.
In this post I want to tell you a little about our work to focus efforts on inclusion. This is a watch word for Clarity, and a frightening one at that. I am challenging the organization to consistently take the path less chosen, to involve everyone, to expose our blind spots, so this means sensitivity and open learning. It shines the light into the dark corners of my ignorance.
Today, I am going to focus on just one of those challenges. As we looked to build our website I raised the issue of building a site that is inclusive for persons with disabilities. This started both Corinne Impey (she is one of the superstars that supports Clarity NPO) of Six Words Communications, and me, on a road of discovery.
I had only a vague knowledge of The World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C and only that because I listen to Spark, with the amazing Nora Young (I am so looking forward to the new season!). If this is new for you, there is an international effort founded on the belief that: “The social value of the Web is that it enables human communication, commerce, and opportunities to share knowledge. One of W3C’s primary goals is to make these benefits available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability.” (Keio, 2019)
With a little more digging, many elements of an accessible website came to my attention:
- Changes to the way you navigate, to allow keyboard only navigation, for those find a mouse unsupportable.
- Reducing or eliminating text in graphics, so that text can be read by a computer, a requirement for visually impaired users.
- Including written transcriptions of audio, to support those with hearing impairments.
- Much of our work is prepared in a font called OpenDyslexic3, which has been designed to assist readers who experience the challenge of dyslexia. You may be seeing these words in that font now!
Clarity NPO wanted our website to be as compliant and onside as possible. We found lots of support through the W3C and worked with another couple of amazing individuals, Stephen Ramsay and Steve Fox, both with our great IT provider Fox Canada. Together, we developed something of a white paper on how to build an inclusive website. Our final product includes a checklist that can be used to monitor your success in making your own website meet the W3C standards.
If you are involved with an NPO or charity, I know that inclusion may be a fundamental principle for you, and you may not have crossed this barrier yet. We can help and we can do so in two ways:
- If you are a do-it-yourself kind of team, then download our report and checklist on inclusive websites, as you can use it to test how well your website stands up to the test.
- If you would like more support, give us a shout, and we can provide an audit of your website’s inclusive status. We will review the site and provide and report on the best steps and costs of becoming even more compliant.
Clarity NPO is committed to being inclusive in as many ways as possible, today we have taken a very quick look at some of the work we do on or website and in our publications.
But I try to be sensitive to my failings as well, in this regard, please support us by speaking out when we make mistakes, because it helps us learn. Expose us when we are insensitive, or just plain ignorant, so we can consider, engage and adjust. On our website, we leave the comments open on our blogs, in order to welcome feedback. our policy is to edit or remove only those who:
- Appear to be generated by bots
- Use language that is deemed inappropriate
- Appear to be harassing or bullying in nature
Finally, I have two requests:
- Click here to receive communications from Clarity NPO so you will never miss my ramblings.
- If you have comments or criticisms about this blog piece, please leave us a note on our blog page, or wherever you have found it.
We grow through your comments and feedback.
Download Website Accessibility – Your Guide to Inclusion on the Internet here for more information and a detailed checklist that will help ensure your website is accessible.
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