“The greatest result of Word LX™ is that it builds efficiency and standardization into our workflow. Our users now have one-stop shopping for all the resources, available on everyone’s desktop, with all of our accessibility standards built in.”
-Jennifer Aldridge, Manager of Application Training
Founded in 1918, CNIB passionately provides community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. Through Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada, a new health services organization operated by CNIB, they provide personalized rehabilitation services designed to enhance independence, safety and mobility after a loss of sight. With over 50 offices nationwide, CNIB’s community based services empower Canadians who are blind or partially sighted to lead rich, full lives and move our society towards a more inclusive world.
The Challenge – Improving Accessibility and Brand Consistency
CNIB is committed to accessibility for all Canadians and is responsible for producing “Clear Print,” an accessible design standard for governing font styles, size and leading, colours and contrast to ensure maximum legibility for those with vision loss.
In support of its mission, CNIB wanted these standards to be incorporated across the tens of thousands of documents it produces each year, but some of the written material produced by their staff could not be easily consumed because it did not follow the governance it had developed.
As well, many of the logos, templates and other resources required to build documents that aligned with its standards were scattered across various network drives and email attachments resulting in accessibility issues and inconsistent use of these assets.
CNIB wanted and needed to convey a clear understanding and standardized delivery of their brand through all of their communications and documentation. Achieving that goal was a challenge in an organization of their size, combined with the added complexity of doing it when about 14 percent of their workforce can’t use visual cues.
CNIB realized they needed help to build a platform that could easily and automatically create documents that could not only conform to their “Clear Print” accessibility standards, but also incorporate their branding. They turned to Infoware for help because of their deep expertise in document automation and Word LX™, their well established solution that enables law firms to enforce brand standards and drive consistency across their documents and work flow processes.
Before Word LX™, a lot of our critical forms and templates were scattered all over the organization. They weren’t easy to find on our SharePoint portal and there may have been three or four versions of one template.
– Jason Fayre – CNIB
Infoware had not worked in the not-for-profit sector before, but welcomed the opportunity to help solve a unique challenge for CNIB. Infoware delivered a highly-customized Word LX™ solution for CNIB that centralized standardized forms, templates and other resources. The solution automatically makes any created document “Clear Print” compliant and applies the organization’s brand standards, ensuring greater consistency across their documents.
Alongside a system-wide upgrade to Office 2016, Word LX™ was rolled out to more than 900 users in 54 CNIB offices. This came at a crucial time as CNIB had launched a separate entity, Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada. The integration of Word LX™ with the new brand and workflow smoothed that transition, said Jennifer Aldridge who led the Infoware implementation.
Integration Drives Additional Benefits
Working with Infoware unexpectedly solved another technological challenge for staff with vision loss struggling to use screen reading software. Word LX™ vastly improves functionality with Windows screen reader software “Jobs Access With Speech” (JAWS®).
The application provides voice-based descriptions to users as they navigate Word documents and the Word interface. Infoware’s Word LX™ plug-in makes it easier for CNIB staff with vision loss to use JAWS® to create and navigate documents. Word LX™ tags the underlying structure of a Word document – things like headings, subheads, paragraphs, bulleted text – so that JAWS® can interpret the structure and communicate that to the user. This boosts the job skills and productivity of those with partial or no sight.
Infoware gave us an opportunity to template our systems and make sure we are defining and visualizing our corporate identity consistently. Infoware ensures that our brand comes across consistently with ease on our end.
– Victoria Pearson – CNIB
Supporting People Through Technology
While Infoware’s focus has always been on helping people achieve more by simplifying their work, the original intent and purpose of their technology is to help legal professionals create documents more efficiently. This project identified the company’s ability to help any organization enable and enforce accessibility regulations and firm branding standards. “The opportunity to leverage our technology to positively affect and empower individuals dealing with vision loss, in combination with helping support CNIB’s mission, was incredibly inspiring and rewarding for our team,” said Dan Sharp, President and CEO of Infoware.
As accessibility standards and regulations evolve, Infoware anticipates a growing demand for applications like Word LX™ from organizations in all sectors, especially large organizations with diverse user bases.