Upcoming Web Site to Include Accessibility for People with Cognitive Disabilities

I am working on a Web site that will incorporate two significant features with which I have experimented: text-to-speech (TTS) and plain language. The site will have other accessibility features for people with cognitive disabilities, text enlargement and text highlighting among them.

The site will be a report for The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS).  It will be published by The Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, for which I work.  Because the constituency of The DDS is people with intellectual disabilities, Shriver project staff would like the report to be as accessible to them as can be afforded at this point.  I have thus been in discussions with representatives of Web-accessibility technology companies.

Web Accessibility Technologies

An accessible content management system (CMS) from WebCredible has been purchased for the Web site. WebCredible reports that, in addition to its purpose of creating accessible Web pages, the CMS includes two other features, ones that attracted me to it.

  • Its back-end, content-management interface is itself accessible; and
  • “… content editors are forced to … produce accessible and well-written page content …”.

I will begin using the WebCredible CMS next week.  Future blog posts will describe what I learn about it.

The Shriver project staff and I are considering two other products from The United Kingdom: BrowseAloud and ROKTalk.  Each provides TTS and text-accessibility features for Web sites. I have mentioned both products in previous blog posts, and reviewed the one from ROKTalk.  A future post will describe which we choose, and why.

Plain Language

The report to be published is long and contains complex information.  For the home page of each section, we plan to write a plain-language version of the section’s main points.  I am concerned about doing this well because, as I have said before, writing “easy” text is not so easy.  Our related efforts will also be the subject of future blog posts.

Note: No endorsement of the above-mentioned products is expressed or implied.

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