the first thing you should do when you become involved in intranets

The first -and best- thing you can do when you first become responsible for an intranet site is to get connected to any support groups for people with disabilities within your organisation.

Obviously it’s just the right thing to do, to ensure that your intranet supports everyone within your organisation, but there is an added benefit; the usability dividend.

You should seek out people who have limited hearing or vision or who have restricted mobility and find out what problems they are having. This is also a great way of revealing problems that all users will be having and driving up the quality of the intranet.

And don’t forget cognitive disabilities such as dyslexia, here’s a great article on the problems people with dyslexia face. Ensuring your intranet is written well enough to support user stylesheets means that it has good semantic markup, so you may find your search engine works better for everybody.

Intranet managers often get bogged down with ‘the governance model’ or trying to prove abstract values like ’employee engagement’, but underlying all that is always resolving the basic question ‘what problems are you having’ and that’s something worth fixing, especially to people who may be having significant problems.

Wanted! Does anyone have a good example of a Dyslexia friendly user stylesheet that works well with IE6?

I wanted to keep adding in pop music oddities, and its tempting to tie this particular song into comprehension problems…

I loved this song when it came out, in the long hot summer of 1976 – hope you like it too.

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