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Making your intranet more accessible to all your users

by Martin Miles on October 20, 2011

When you create your intranet structure and design you want to ensure that it is accessible to all of your users. You want your intranet audience to have equal access to content and functionality.

It may be that some of your users have disabilities. If this is the case, you may want to assess alternative ways of accessing your intranet content.

The Disability Discrimination Act states that a reasonable effort should be made to make an intranet compliant for the disabled. To be compliant you should ensure that your site offers all users access to the same information, helping to engage all of your staff.

You will need to consider how your site will be viewed by those with differing requirements, such as:

  • Visually impaired
  • Hearing impaired
  • Mobility impaired

Visual impairments

One in twenty people are colour blind. You will need to be mindful of the colours used in your design. Designers recommend that when placing two colours next to each other, there should be a 30% tonal variance between the two colours. If both colours have the same tone, they will merge into one when viewed by a colour blind person.

How will blind users access your site? You may want to consider web browsers which either read text out or convert it to Braille. Screen readers like JAWS are often used. You may need to test your design with these tools.

To help those with visual impairments you should offer the ability to enlarge text and images on the site.

Hearing impaired

If your site contains videos, you may want to consider providing subtitles for the audio content. This may also be applicable if your site has podcasts.

Learning Difficulties

Make sure the site’s layout is consistent and that the language you use is simple and easy to understand.

Mobility impaired

Those with mobility impairments may not be able to use a mouse. You will need to consider how information will be accessed using the keyboard.

By taking into consideration the needs and requirements of all your users, you can design and create an intranet that all your staff can engage with.

Topics: 4. Form

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