Psychological disorders in a not-so 20/20, perfect world

power of pen

As we adjust to life in 2020 (pun intended), the website accessibility Dopa is known for comes to a curious, perhaps ironic, crossroads.  We’ve always said it is very tough to meet standards that people rely on who have low vision, cognitive impairments, and other challenges when using “regular” websites.

Eric, the sites original publisher, is moving into uncharted territory.  He’s doing data studies that break new ground in how they access public interest in psychology topics. The research results are presented here, first, in the form of interactive data visualizations. The challenge is making them accessible, given their complex design formatting. Have a look at the first one, published here; about PTSD.

This website morphed its more narrow scope beyond writing and handwriting.  We’re now focused more broadly on psychological disorders and mental health.

What defines us beyond that is:

  1. A commitment to meeting W3C Guidelines for accessibility.
  2. Pragmatic approach missing elsewhere in discussions of accessibility on the internet: websites very often cannot be accessibility compliant without sacrificing design, interactivity and general user experience for visitors without disabilities (paying 50% more for designers and coders might help, but would still fall short).
  3. Those with challenges using traditional or common-place access to the written words on websites require alternative web pages that are made specifically for an audience requiring accessibility.

Our pieces take 2x longer to finish and publish than “crowd-sourced” pieces on sites like Wikipedia that do not follow accessibility standards, and where contributors are already being asked too much as volunteers.

How many writers and editors can add 25% time to their no-pay or low-pay work-load so they can also learn the proper dos and don’t of accessible web pages? Therein lies our challenge.

Tina Richardson cursive signature

Tina

Eric Van Buskirk cursive signature

Eric