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Digital inclusion means great website experience for everyone

When we think about inclusion in the workplace, making our office and our services inviting and accessible to all is important. But what about our digital spaces? Organizations often think of their websites as their digital “front door,” which should be welcoming to all, yet not everyone is able to navigate pages and menus equally.

Last summer, the Community Foundation implemented a website accessibility tool to help people with barriers, such as language, while enabling us to become ADA compliant. ADA stands for the American Disabilities Act and the term “ADA compliance” refers to a set of rules put in place to ensure people with disabilities would be able to access, use, and enjoy the web. The Act was signed into law in 1990 and continues to protect and provide equal rights to people with disabilities.

“The Community Foundation receives website visitors from the Fox Valley and around the world, and we believe that our site should be available and accessible to anyone,” says Amy Spreeman, marketing technologist for the Community Foundation. “We’re committed to providing an online experience that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of circumstance and ability.”

The new tool brought our website into compliance with the ADA guidelines to help ensure our digital space is accessible to all: people who are blind, and have epilepsy, ADHD, motor impairments, visual impairment, cognitive disabilities, and more. Additionally, people who do not speak or read English can now view our content in nearly 100 languages.

The plugin tool, installed by our partner Stellar Blue Technologies of Neenah, makes our web content easier to see and navigate, allowing all visitors to find what they’re looking for quickly with as few limitations as possible.

“We developed this tool after a friend of mine asked me why websites don’t take into consideration that he was color blind and had a difficult time viewing the sites we were creating,” explains Jim Dobinski, managing director  of Stellar Blue Technologies. “Our team was able to create a tool that could update web technology daily and give site visitors the ability to easily adjust the site to their needs. The ADA tool has literally revolutionized how we develop websites.”

User who are visually impaired and blind and use screen readers and keyboard navigation can now engage with our information. Disability profiles also include font, audio, and color adjustments.

You can try out the features yourself by clicking the ADA logo at the bottom left corner of our site. Check out our content in different languages by scrolling to the bottom right corner of our site.

The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region is continuing to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in respecting and serving all members of our community. Read more about our journey here.

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