We’re fast approaching 8 billion people on earth. That’s a lot of people, and as designers and writers in tech we have the responsibility to make sure that we create products that provide equal access to all of them, especially those with disabilities.
Words take up a lot of the screen in the apps, games, and other digital services we interact with every day, and they can be hard to parse for all kinds of different reasons. As mentioned earlier, people can suffer from all kinds of disabilities that can make it more difficult to read and understand text.
Dyslexia is a well known example, which is a common learning disability that leads some people to have trouble reading at a good pace and without mistakes.
There are also less obvious ones like ADHD, which most people associate with restless behavior, but which can also make it harder to concentrate for extended periods of time. Therefore, this can also make it hard to read longer pieces of text.
Then there are visual impairments like partial sight and blindness, which can make it hard or impossible to read any text at all. For these people it’s common to use a screen reader, which is a software or hardware solution that reads the words out loud and describes the interface.
In short, accessibility is about making sure that everything works for everyone. That means that we need to design and write for everyone — addressing how people with disabilities use digital products while also thinking about how we can build things that work well with assistive technology.