Discussing Online Barriers with Autism Plus

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What are the common barriers people with autism can face online?

The internet is a fantastic resource for information, news, and communication with family, friends, and colleagues. For an individual with autism, navigating through all of that information can be confusing and overwhelming. Many people with autism rely on structure and routine which can help ease anxieties, but online quite often websites lack structure which can make people feel lost and result in lots of clicks to sites and pages that aren’t relevant to them. There is so much news and information posted on the internet nowadays, and it can be difficult for some people with autism to understand the difference between real and fake news, and when you search for something it may bring up results from years ago, it isn’t always easy to see when an article was posted.

Why is it important for Autism Plus to offer accessibility and language options online?

As a charity offering care and support for people with autism, learning disabilities, and neurodiverse conditions it is vital that the information we provide on our website is accessible and easy to navigate to as many people as possible, in ways that work for them. This is why we love Recite Me as it enables visitors to our site to customize and access content easily.

Toolbar data shows Autism Plus website visitors use the text enlarge styling tool the most to customize their experience. Why would you think this is the most commonly used feature?

The text enlarge feature is great because it means the visitor can completely customize the text size that works best for them and used together with the speech function means that the information can easily be understood.
Autism Plus website open on different devices with the Recite Me toolbar launched

We can see that distraction support tools such as Text-only mode, screen mask, and magnifying glass have been used on nearly 100 occasions. Are these online techniques commonly used by people with autism to read content online?

These too are great functions as it means visitors with neurodivergent conditions who may prefer to focus on one area of the page can do this easily and avoid distraction from images and the remaining content in that area.

Autism Plus aims to empower people to live independent lives, how do you think Recite Me helps with this goal?

Recite Me helps us by offering a real inclusive experience when visiting our website, it helps our visitors to take control and process information in a way that suits them and their needs – it’s what we’re all about, helping people to take control and make their own choices.

Online Accessibility and Inclusion Toolkit

This year we published our Digital Inclusion Toolkit that was developed to help businesses make a real difference to the lives of the millions of people around the world who encounter online barriers. The 40 page document provides practical advice covering the complete landscape of online accessibility from how to write an accessibility statement to our top tips for providing an inclusive recruitment journey.

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