Prioritising inclusion in a daily read
The Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability (ASID) is a long-standing organisation that exists to improve the quality of life for people with an intellectual disability. They are a non-profit that fosters engagement between a number of areas, from intellectual disability research, policy to practice.
Issues in focus
Diversity and Inclusion, Human Rights, Storytelling, Reshaping Perceptions
As ASID continue to share key news and insights in their quarterly publication the Intellectual Disability Australasia (IDA) Magazine, their goal is to not only report information, but showcase ASID’s impact in a way that resonates with their stakeholders. One of the key challenges in this project was accommodating for increased accessibility not only through online platforms, but also in structuring the content to accommodate for this broad group of readers.
DrawHistory came alongside ASID to modernise the IDA Magazine’s visuals with updated design practices, using graphic elements and imagery that embody ASID’s human spirit. The magazine aims to be a tool that connects the ASID board, researchers, partnering service providers and people with an intellectual disability.
Designing for end users
The magazine discusses the successes and challenges of service delivery to people with an intellectual disability. IDA Magazine includes articles on a central theme, information about conferences and upcoming events to be involved in, as well as insight from people with intellectual disabilities in a column titled No Research About Us Without Us. This inclusive and diverse voice was one we wanted to showcase through the design refresh.
We spent some time talking to ASID, getting their insight into accessibility requirements for readers with an intellectual disability. We discovered that reading text formatted in columns has proven especially difficult for people with intellectual disabilities. We decided to use clean white space and single columns to emphasise IDA’s accessibility and connection to all parts of the community, and not just a select few in the community.
Our discussion with ASID also revealed that the magazine should have a less formal tone than the scientific journals ASID publishes. The magazine was for keeping members involved and in the loop about current projects and upcoming events and so the visual design should reflect that inclusive, positive tone. We addressed this tone through the magazine by using calm cool colours and subtle monochromatic gradients to bring energy into the publication. These have been used in headers for each article accompanied by bright photography.
The emphasis on geometric, aligned and ordered information creates a careful balance of being a trustworthy source of information and being an enjoyable read that encourages engagement for all ASID members. The new IDA has very clear titles making it simple to navigate and incorporates some playful elements – like the author photo credits in bubbles.
You listened, asked questions, ensured you understood our needs and made the experience pleasant. You helped us achieve the change we were looking for in portraying the organisation in a more contemporary manner.