By Elaine Mulligan
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)
The power of the web
Here at NICHCY, we spend a lot of time talking about, tweaking, and trying to improve our website. That’s probably 10% because we’re technology geeks and 90% our acknowledgement of the power of the web. We’re a small organization made up of six individuals, so we know that our website can reach exponentially more users than our six sets of ears and hands. Over 2 million people have visited our site in the past year. We offer around 600 pages of information about disabilities, laws related to serving children and youth who have disabilities, evidence-based practices, and data bases of helpful organizations in English and Spanish.
Because we recognize the power of the web, we are constantly working to make our website more useful and accessible. Earlier this summer, we added the ReadSpeaker feature to our website to provide our information via audio in both English and Spanish (http://nichcy.org/nichcys-website-can-talk). But we felt that it was not enough to meet the changing needs of our web users. We’ve been watching the trends on our web use, and we know that you’re using mobile devices more and more to find information and resources, and we want to make it easier for you to find what you need on our site.
Clearer display on mobile devices
That’s why we recently made our site responsive to mobile devices. What does that mean? “In short, Responsive Design is a very efficient, cost-effective way to make your website’s layout adjust on the fly for hundreds of different screen sizes your information can be displayed on.” (http://www.nten.org/articles/2013/five-tips-for-responsive-web-design) We’ve adjusted the way things display on our site to help you see all of the elements on whatever size screen you’re using. Some images may not display, and sidebar elements will appear in different parts of the screen, but all website elements are visible and easy to navigate. The “responsive” nature of the design means that whether you’re on an iPad, a Galaxy phone, an Android, or an iPhone, the features will display in the way that’s most easy to view on your device. Here’s what the top of our front page looks like on an iPhone:
See for yourself
Check us out on your smartphone or tablet and see the difference. If you’ve used our site on a mobile device before, you might have struggled to see the many options (we certainly did). We hope that you enjoy our new responsive design, and that it helps you to find the information you need, when and where you need it.
View us on your desktop, tablet, or smartphone – or listen to our audio feature on any of those devices. Our website is here to serve you.