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How Businesses Can Support People with Communication Challenges

Posted June 28, 2024

AudioEye

Posted June 28, 2024

A banner that reads "Business Tips for Aphasia Awareness Month: How Businesses Can Support People with Communication Challenges" next to a headshot of Michael Wight wearing a dark suit and purple tie.
A banner that reads "Business Tips for Aphasia Awareness Month: How Businesses Can Support People with Communication Challenges" next to a headshot of Michael Wight wearing a dark suit and purple tie.

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In this post, Michael Wight, a member of AudioEye's A11iance, shares five tips on how brands can improve their online communication for people with aphasia.

Aphasia is a language disorder that affects a person's ability to communicate. It is caused by damage to the brain's parts responsible for language processing. A stroke, head injury, brain tumor, or other neurological condition can cause this damage. My personal experience with aphasia began following a brain injury when I was four years old, leading to specific challenges in digital environments. For example, I experience some challenges when using the internet, such as videos with people speaking too fast. Other times, if alt text is missing, my screen reader cannot pick up what the picture is and my brain cannot remember. Sometimes I must rely on my screen reader to remind my brain what I am looking at. 


With June being Aphasia Awareness Month, here are my five tips on how brands can improve their online communication for people with aphasia, like me:

1. Resizable Text

When interacting with someone with aphasia, it is important to resize fonts and text on a website so it can be readable. It is difficult for me to read tiny print on websites. Please allow for text resizing options without breaking the site's layout, as larger text helps me and others with aphasia read more comfortably and understand better.

2. Use Alt Text

Include clear descriptions for all images and other non-text content to show the meaning to people with aphasia who rely on text to understand. This support is vital because when alt text is available, it helps me grasp the context of visuals that I cannot interpret visually, making web content more accessible and meaningful.

3. Minimize distractions

Avoid auto-playing videos and flash animations on your website. For me, and for some people with aphasia, it can be hard to focus. Having control over when media plays helps me manage sensory input and focus better on the content that matters to me.

4. Use Simple Language

It is hard to understand business language on websites when you have aphasia. Brands should use simple language so it is easier for people like me to follow along and understand your message. Plain language helps in making information comprehensible, ensuring that I can interact with your site effectively and independently and simple language can support comprehension for all website users.

5. Test Your Website With People Who Have Aphasia

I have aphasia and am an A11iance Tester at AudioEye! There are people like me who can make sure you have an accessible website. We can find problems that others might not notice, making your website easier for all to use and helping people feel welcome on your site.

By using these tips, companies can make websites easier for everyone, including people with aphasia. This helps people like me who find it hard to communicate. It makes the internet better for all of us. I hope that sharing these tips raises awareness about aphasia and helps brands understand how to better communicate with those living with this disability. Let’s work together to make these changes and improve the internet for everyone.

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