THE INTERSECTIONBETWEENACCESSIBILITY ANDPLAIN LANGUAGESUZI SHAPIRO, PHDINDIANA UNIVERSITY EAST  2012 UXPA  JUNE 4-8 2012
PlainAccessibility                Language
WHAT I DO
I USED TO WRITE FORMYSELF!•What I would want to know•The way I was taught•To demonstrate my skills   • organized   • thoug...
MY STUDENTS OFTENFAILED TO UNDERSTAND(OR REMEMBER)WHAT I HAD WRITTEN
I BECAME MORE AWARE THATPeople do not READ the way we think that they do.They scan documents:                             ...
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?Can’t I just tell them it isrequired?
BEHIND EVERY BEHAVIOR             IS A REASON
PEOPLE DON’T READBECAUSE THEY …Have “better” things to doHave different perspectivesAre confused by complex structureAre u...
U.S. REHABILITATION ACTOF 1973Prohibits discriminationon the basis of disability.
SECTION 504"No otherwise qualified [sic] individualwith a disability in the United Statesshall, solely by reasonof his/her...
NOT A BIG DEAL….How many people are therewho have a disabilitythat would limit their abilityto read a document?
A“NOT QUITEREPRESENTIVE”SAMPLE
NATIONAL STATISTICS(1999)Number of postsecondaryundergraduate studentsin the United Stateswho report having a disability6%...
SURVEY DATASix reporting schools,Approximately 2.5% of students5,976 of the 240,122 students
WHAT KINDS OFDISABILITIESDO STUDENTSREPORT?
DISABILITIESREPORTED BY STUDENTType of Disability                           %Learning disabilities                     45....
DISABILITIES NOTREPORTED BY STUDENTS?Common disabilities:   Too tired   Too busy   Too stressedTo think clearly & attend t...
HOW CAN I BE SURE….I am communicating effectively?I am giving all studentsan equal opportunity to learn?I am not unintenti...
THE SOLUTIONResearch oncreating informationthat is accessibleand understandablefor the widest possible varietyof people.
UNIVERSAL DESIGN
HOW DO WE CREATE DOCUMENTSTHAT COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY?  Simple is good!
Plain Language
PLAIN LANGUAGE GOALSHelp people to:• Find what they need• Understand what they find• Use what they find  to meet their nee...
HOW TO GET THERE!•   Logical organization    with the reader in mind•   "You" and other pronouns•   Active voice•   Short ...
MYRECOMMENDATIONFOR A PROCESS
STEP   1Determine your objectivesor outcomes
STEP   2Ask yourself •“What are the questions  someone should ask?”Then, at each point •“What is needed to continue?”
STEP   3Put informationin an orderthat will• Answer  frequently asked questions  FIRST• Build information
SAMPLE:ASSIGNMENT ORDERWhat is the name of the assignment?When is the assignment due?What am I supposed to learnfrom the a...
STEP   4Continue editingthe documentto eliminateCross out contentthat is not needed.essential forcompletion of the task.
STEP   5IF APPROPRIATE…Number the partsin the orderthat they should becompleted.
STEP   6Format for• Accessibility• Scanning
WHY ?Facilitates online readinganduse of screen reading softwareHelps people tofind information quicklyOrganization assist...
HOW?• Expectancy• Structure• Redundancy• Visibility
EXPECTANCY:What information does the readerexpect to find in the document?– don’t guess, ASK!  • Where do they expect    t...
STRUCTURE:Use headings and subheadingsUse Document STYLES   Heading levels   (Not format changes)
STRUCTURE:Replace paragraphswith bulleted listsNumbered lists for items  • that must all be completed or  • that must be d...
REDUNDANCY:Put important information    in several places
REDUNDANCY:Use multiple types of coding    – style, color, etc.
MULTIPLE CODING   WITHOUT HATCHING   WITH HATCHING
MULTIPLE CODING
REDUNDANCY:Use imageswhen applicable
VISIBILITY:CONTRAST              Font              Color                      Position
LARGE FONT SIZE12 Point minimumfor print and online viewing14 point minimumfor low vision, children,or older people (Over ...
SIMPLE FONT STYLESan Serif    Ariel    VerdanaSerifTimes New RomanCentury Schoolbook
AVOIDCombinations of   RED and GREEN   Or   BLUE and YELLOW
COLOR BLINDNESS  Watch out !  for combinations  that are hard to discriminate  for people  with color blindness  Or anyone...
THE GOAL?Documents thatcan and willbe read andunderstoodby more people.
PlainAccessibility                Language
CONTACT MESuzi Shapirosuzi@suzishapiro.com@afullmind
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Uxpa 2012 Intersection between Accessibility & Plain Language

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Using plain language rules to improve accessibility.

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  • Northwestern University, Services for Students with DisabilitiesEducation, http://www.northwestern.edu/disability/law.html
  • 2 An Institutional Perspective on Students with Disabilities in Postsecondary Center for Educational Statistics, Postsecondary Education Quick Information1999 (Taken from DO-IT Faculty Room Page, 12/12/08: http://www.washington.edu/doit/Faculty/Rights/Background/statistics.html)
  • National Center for Educational Statistics. [1999]. An institutional perspectivedisabilities in postsecondary education. Washington DC: U.S. Department offrom DO-IT Faculty Room Page, 12/12/08: http://www.washington.edu/doit/Faculty/Rights/Background/statistics.html
  • http://www.plainlanguage.gov/whatisPL/index.cfm
  • http://www.plainlanguage.gov/whatisPL/index.cfm
  • http://www.ryobi-sol.co.jp/visolve/en/transform5.html
  • http://www.ryobi-sol.co.jp/visolve/en/transform5.html
  • Uxpa 2012 Intersection between Accessibility & Plain Language

    1. 1. THE INTERSECTIONBETWEENACCESSIBILITY ANDPLAIN LANGUAGESUZI SHAPIRO, PHDINDIANA UNIVERSITY EAST 2012 UXPA JUNE 4-8 2012
    2. 2. PlainAccessibility Language
    3. 3. WHAT I DO
    4. 4. I USED TO WRITE FORMYSELF!•What I would want to know•The way I was taught•To demonstrate my skills • organized • thoughtful • grammatically correct • no spelling errors.
    5. 5. MY STUDENTS OFTENFAILED TO UNDERSTAND(OR REMEMBER)WHAT I HAD WRITTEN
    6. 6. I BECAME MORE AWARE THATPeople do not READ the way we think that they do.They scan documents: Jump aroundLook for important or relevant words They QUIT if bored or confusedThey often ignore a large percentageof the information later in the document IF THEY READ IT AT ALL!
    7. 7. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?Can’t I just tell them it isrequired?
    8. 8. BEHIND EVERY BEHAVIOR IS A REASON
    9. 9. PEOPLE DON’T READBECAUSE THEY …Have “better” things to doHave different perspectivesAre confused by complex structureAre unfamiliar with jargon ridden language.Are affected by limited : • vision • mobility • ability to pay attention
    10. 10. U.S. REHABILITATION ACTOF 1973Prohibits discriminationon the basis of disability.
    11. 11. SECTION 504"No otherwise qualified [sic] individualwith a disability in the United Statesshall, solely by reasonof his/her [sic] disability,be excluded from the participation in,be denied the benefits of,or be subjected todiscriminationunder any program or activityreceiving federal financial assistance."
    12. 12. NOT A BIG DEAL….How many people are therewho have a disabilitythat would limit their abilityto read a document?
    13. 13. A“NOT QUITEREPRESENTIVE”SAMPLE
    14. 14. NATIONAL STATISTICS(1999)Number of postsecondaryundergraduate studentsin the United Stateswho report having a disability6% of the student body
    15. 15. SURVEY DATASix reporting schools,Approximately 2.5% of students5,976 of the 240,122 students
    16. 16. WHAT KINDS OFDISABILITIESDO STUDENTSREPORT?
    17. 17. DISABILITIESREPORTED BY STUDENTType of Disability %Learning disabilities 45.7%Mobility or orthopedic impairments 13.9%Health impairments 11.6%Mental illness or emotional disturbance 7.8%Hearing impairments 5.6%Blindness and visual impairments 4.4%Speech or language impairments 0.9%Other impairments 9.1%
    18. 18. DISABILITIES NOTREPORTED BY STUDENTS?Common disabilities: Too tired Too busy Too stressedTo think clearly & attend to tasks.
    19. 19. HOW CAN I BE SURE….I am communicating effectively?I am giving all studentsan equal opportunity to learn?I am not unintentionallycreating barriers?
    20. 20. THE SOLUTIONResearch oncreating informationthat is accessibleand understandablefor the widest possible varietyof people.
    21. 21. UNIVERSAL DESIGN
    22. 22. HOW DO WE CREATE DOCUMENTSTHAT COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY? Simple is good!
    23. 23. Plain Language
    24. 24. PLAIN LANGUAGE GOALSHelp people to:• Find what they need• Understand what they find• Use what they find to meet their needs.
    25. 25. HOW TO GET THERE!• Logical organization with the reader in mind• "You" and other pronouns• Active voice• Short sentences• Common, everyday words• Easy-to-read design features
    26. 26. MYRECOMMENDATIONFOR A PROCESS
    27. 27. STEP 1Determine your objectivesor outcomes
    28. 28. STEP 2Ask yourself •“What are the questions someone should ask?”Then, at each point •“What is needed to continue?”
    29. 29. STEP 3Put informationin an orderthat will• Answer frequently asked questions FIRST• Build information
    30. 30. SAMPLE:ASSIGNMENT ORDERWhat is the name of the assignment?When is the assignment due?What am I supposed to learnfrom the assignment?What resources do I needto complete the assignment?What should I do first? Second? . . .How do I know thatthe assignment is complete?
    31. 31. STEP 4Continue editingthe documentto eliminateCross out contentthat is not needed.essential forcompletion of the task.
    32. 32. STEP 5IF APPROPRIATE…Number the partsin the orderthat they should becompleted.
    33. 33. STEP 6Format for• Accessibility• Scanning
    34. 34. WHY ?Facilitates online readinganduse of screen reading softwareHelps people tofind information quicklyOrganization assists peoplewith attention problems
    35. 35. HOW?• Expectancy• Structure• Redundancy• Visibility
    36. 36. EXPECTANCY:What information does the readerexpect to find in the document?– don’t guess, ASK! • Where do they expect to find it? • What do they expect it to be called?
    37. 37. STRUCTURE:Use headings and subheadingsUse Document STYLES Heading levels (Not format changes)
    38. 38. STRUCTURE:Replace paragraphswith bulleted listsNumbered lists for items • that must all be completed or • that must be done in sequence.
    39. 39. REDUNDANCY:Put important information in several places
    40. 40. REDUNDANCY:Use multiple types of coding – style, color, etc.
    41. 41. MULTIPLE CODING WITHOUT HATCHING WITH HATCHING
    42. 42. MULTIPLE CODING
    43. 43. REDUNDANCY:Use imageswhen applicable
    44. 44. VISIBILITY:CONTRAST Font Color Position
    45. 45. LARGE FONT SIZE12 Point minimumfor print and online viewing14 point minimumfor low vision, children,or older people (Over 40)
    46. 46. SIMPLE FONT STYLESan Serif Ariel VerdanaSerifTimes New RomanCentury Schoolbook
    47. 47. AVOIDCombinations of RED and GREEN Or BLUE and YELLOW
    48. 48. COLOR BLINDNESS Watch out ! for combinations that are hard to discriminate for people with color blindness Or anyone else….
    49. 49. THE GOAL?Documents thatcan and willbe read andunderstoodby more people.
    50. 50. PlainAccessibility Language
    51. 51. CONTACT MESuzi Shapirosuzi@suzishapiro.com@afullmind

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