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The Learning Center for the Deaf, Perkins Access Partner to Create Enhanced, Accessible Website

March 23, 2020

The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC) has launched a new, accessible website (www.tlcdeaf.org) which offers an innovative, inclusive experience for individuals with varying needs and abilities.

TLC’s new website demonstrates excellence in being linguistically accessible and culturally competent, meeting digital standards that incorporate Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards and National Association for the Deaf (NAD) recommendations for accessibility. A few of the built-in features include streamlined information architecture, compelling visual design; a robust open-source content management system (CMS), and reliable, easy-to-use online giving and e-commerce functionality. 

The partnership was made possible by a $20,000 grant awarded to TLC by the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation

“The Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation is pleased to support The Learning Center for the Deaf with a $20,000 grant,” said Dana Neshe, president of the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation. “Middlesex takes its commitment to supporting the community to heart and providing funds to the Learning Center, whose work focuses on inclusion and respect for the population they serve, is just one way we aim to do that.”

With the funding, TLC worked with Perkins Access, the digital accessibility consulting group at Perkins School for the Blind, to design a website which sets a new standard for usability and accessibility. In the planning and development process, TLC defined its top priority as a digital experience accessible to individuals who are deaf, deafblind, deafdisabled, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and hearing. 

Perkins Access takes a human-centered approach to inclusive design. With unmatched access to a unique user-testing network, they are able to incorporate insight from real-world experiences into actionable plans for optimizing digital accessibility. Their staff includes consultants with an average 20 years of experience in human-centered design, digital accessibility standards and assistive technology.

“One in four adults have a disability,” said Luiza Aguiar, executive director of Perkins Access, “so it’s critical that organizations create inclusive digital experiences that everyone can access, whatever their abilities. By considering accessibility from the beginning, rather than bolting it onto an existing digital property, The Learning Center for the Deaf created a user-centered site that optimizes online engagement for all.”

TLC also partnered with a Deaf-owned agency CHILMARKeting to help coordinate and manage the project, in addition to communications and design studio, Theory One

CHILMARKeting supports businesses, nonprofits and organizations in creating and deploying advocacy and community based campaigns. Based in Austin, CHILMARKeting provides its award-winning services in the area of communications, campaign creation, strategic planning and website development. 

Theory One has a special interest in working with organizations committed to service-based missions. 

“It has been a pleasure collaborating with The Learning Center for the Deaf to conceive, design and build their website,” Alicia Pritt, Principal, Senior Communications Strategist for Theory One said. “From the beginning, accessibility was a top priority, and we look forward to seeing all of the ways the new website will increase their ability to serve the deaf and hard of hearing communities here in New England and nationwide.”