Success Starts Here

The University of Michigan Services for Students with Disabilities contracted WTW Design to create an internationally recognized, best-in-class, state-of-the-art website to house a dyslexia curriculum and resource center that informs and educates students, parents and professionals, about current best practices in the diagnosis and treatment of language disorder and dyslexia.

To meet this challenge, WTW Design started with realistic and achievable goals and provided a seamless end-to-end development process. The project team collaborated with content specialists to establish a balance between innovative design and technical delivery.

“It was imperative that the design follow web standards and the visual layout align with our other sites,” said Joanne Pierson, director of the project. “Given that part of the audience may have dyslexia or other reading disorders, easy accessibility was essential. However, we also needed to suggest a clinical feel to support the professional and educational underpinnings of U-M SSD.

Language, graphic design, programming, online tools and validation were incorporated into the process, and the WTW Design team collaborated with the U-M Accessibility Coordinator to ensure that the site conformed to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA 1.0) standards, and that all programming met World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards. The end result is a site where the interface and the content will allow assistive technologies to convey appropriate information to persons with disabilities.

SSD required that the site be built around a content management system (CMS) that would be flexible and easily modifiable with no HTML coding required to maintain the accuracy and timeliness of the content. WTW Design recommended Druple CMS as the best choice because it’s an open-source solution with a solid track record, offers immediate baseline functionality as compared to a customized CMS, has extremely robust features, and is supported by the U-M IT community. The result is a robust, dynamic, interactive website that will be easy for the client to manage and update on a day-to-day basis.

“I feel like we did it right,” says Pierson. “WTW Design knew how to make it happen and guided us through the project. We started by asking our stakeholders what would be helpful, followed industry best practices, and designed a site that will be a valuable tool to students of all ages, professionals and parents.”

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