Diversity and Inclusion
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. As they 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. 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. 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.
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 requirements for accessibility 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 some playful elements - like the author photo credits in bubbles.
IDA Magazine is now available to access both online and in print with a range of download options. We acknowledged the challenge of accessibility by taking a look at stakeholders’ preference for accessing the magazine to read. Some readers preferred to download individual articles independently from the entire 40-page magazine; a feature ASID had made available in previous editions on its website. Another option for people who do not wish to download the entire magazine is to flick through the whole document on the platform, Yumpu.
Yumpu allows IDA to read like a flipbook but with the added advantage of active hyperlinks allowing the reader to jump to specific articles within the magazine, as well as external links. Readers are also able to zoom in on text for increased legibility where applicable. Yumpu affords IDA readers flexible engagement with the magazine. Additionally, readers are encouraged to download the entire magazine for offline reading as a PDF from the ASID website.
The publication will also be available as a printed document; a task usually managed by members of ASID with an intellectual disability, distributed to partner organisations and to ASID’s capital city headquarters.
ASID has launched their first edition of the IDA Magazine with the refreshed design template on their website. To learn more about DrawHistory’s approach to inclusive design or print design, here are some options for you:
- Check out the new IDA Magazine relaunch!
- Find out how a strong print narrative can engage your stakeholders
- Read about a similar collaboration between DrawHistory and Befriend to increase social inclusion for people with an intellectual disability
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DrawHistory is a social impact brand agency passionate about moving the world forward. Our clients are purposeful organisations who exist to address some of the world's most important social issues.
Hannah Schultz is a Junior Designer at DrawHistory. She studied graphic design at Edith Cowan University, going on to complete an honours project on the topic of participatory co-design in the homelessness support sector in Perth.