Headshot of Carolyn Scott

Carolyn Scott

Editor

When we Design for Inclusion Everyone Wins

Many of the great innovations which are now a staple part of our lives took their inspiration, in part, from breaking down barriers for those with disabilities.

Alexander Graham Bell’s mother, Eliza Bell, was deaf. His father, Melville Bell was an orator and the creator of a program called Visible Speech, which used symbols and drawings to teach people with hearing loss how to speak languages they had never heard. It’s rumored that it was this that influenced Bell to study acoustics, leading to the development of the telephone.

One of the key figures in the development of the internet, Vincent Cerf, was hard of hearing. Unable to discuss his work with colleagues over the phone, he helped to develop the first IP-based information transfer systems, which went on to become the bustling web of communication that we’ve become so heavily reliant on today: the internet.

How many times per day do you send text messages? They now seem so commonplace, such an obvious tool, but the main reason that text messages were brought to mobile phone users in the first place was to allow deaf people to communicate.

When we design for inclusion - when we approach a problem by asking “how do I make this accessible to as many people as possible?” - we are forced to think differently, to look beyond the norm.

Footnote is built for inclusion, every element considered to ensure that it is accessible to as many people as possible. We’re still learning, of course, and we probably always will be. We’re looking for new ways to work with the old tools, and we’re challenging traditional ideas of what magazines are and how media should be communicated.

Things go pretty fast these days. Just when you think you’re up-to-speed on the latest technologies along comes something new. It can be daunting, or, it could be exceptionally exciting.

As Footnote, we believe that when we design for inclusion everyone wins. Creating accessible content isn’t detrimental to the user experience, it allows for more autonomy on behalf of the viewer, listener or reader.

Footnote aims to set a standard in inclusion and accessibility. Why not join us in this mission, who knows what we might stumble across?

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