At a glance
Accessibility and usability are often thought of as separate or even vastly different. We can bring them together in a frictionless way.
People don’t just need equal access to information. They need information that is easy to understand and use.
In the U.S., around 70 million people learn and think differently. Meeting their needs can make products better for everyone.
The word has long been a part of daily life. But efforts to create equal access have mostly focused on the needs of people with physical disabilities. People with learning and thinking differences like ADHD and dyslexia weren’t top of mind.
Only recently has there been some movement to serve people with learning and thinking differences — people who struggle with things like memory, focus, organization, reading, and math. But there’s still more work to do.
At Understood, our mission is to shape the world for difference so everyone can thrive. To be truly accessible, we need to think about people with all kinds of differences, both visible and invisible. Wheelchair ramps and closed captions are important. But the world needs more learning and thinking supports too, like ways to help users focus and remember key points.
Setting new standards for accessibility and usability
It’s not enough to comply with today’s web accessibility standards. The goal shouldn’t just be equal access. To account for all kinds of differences, the goal should be making products accessible to all and making them easy to understand and use.
That’s why we’re building new standards that combine accessibility and .
Too often these concepts are thought of as separate. Or perhaps even vastly different. But they can be brought together in a frictionless way.
To combine them, we’re building on the successes of universal design. Many products were designed for a wide range of users. Examples include automatic doors, audiobooks, and hands-free typing. Supports for learning and thinking should be just as common, like using an eighth-grade reading level to make content easy to digest.
At Understood, we weave accessibility and usability into everything we do. Yes, we keep people with learning and thinking differences top of mind. But that approach helps us make products that are easy to use for everyone.