Innovation for Independence

WiAS (Website integrated Assistive Solutions)

Publish date:
07/01/2015 - 1:13pm
Last updated:
15/05/2015 - 11:57am

WiAS will be a set of assistive tools that could be integrated into websites to better assist users with sensory and cognitive needs. For example, a person with a sensory impairment or dyslexia may struggle when filling out forms / logging in to a website. At present they have 3 options available to them: 1) using assistive features that are built into their browser, 2) using assistive features that built into their operating system (e.g. speaking text aloud), and 3) buying 3rd party software (e.g. SuperNova Screen Reader / SaySo Toolbar ). These approaches are not always compatible or user friendly when it comes to accessing websites. My idea is to create tools that enable website owners to integrate these assistive features into the design of their sites so that they work seamlessly. I believe that this would promote inclusion as well as reduce costs for website owners looking to integrate assistive technology into their coding without detracting from a website’s core design and functionality. It could be adapted and used across industries as diverse as e-commerce, finance, entertainment, arts and design, publishing, educational and more.

Insight & Impact

As an individual who is dual-sensory impaired and dyslexic I have experience of the challenges this can present online, e.g. shopping or watching videos. I have a strong passion for technology and digital media, a subject matter in which I got my degree. This interest in technology and digital media coupled with the support and resources that are available from organisations with which I am involved, e.g. RNIB, DeafBlind UK, Sense & Moorfield Eye Hospital, will play a major part in making this venture a success. This idea will improve the lives of people with sensory or cognitive impairments by promoting inclusion, allowing them to more fully engage with the wider world and be independent - offering the end-user a range of alternatives at no cost to them.

Skills needed for this project

  • A mentor with experience of website development and assistive technology.
  • Website design and development (UI and UX designers).
  • Marketing

Please add a comment here....


james501's picture
This is a fantastic idea. I think it's time that websites became truly accessible without users needing to buy expensive software!
Frances Beaumont Occupational Therapist's picture
This is a brilliant and much needed idea to help people with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia. sight or hearing difficulties access the internet and educational material in a simple, quick and inexpensive way .