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Inclusive Design

Inclusive design is a win-win for both our users and the organization. It expands our product’s reach, sparks innovation, and helps CFA Institute take on a position of social responsibility.

Inclusive design is a process, while accessibility is a goal. The job of inclusive design is to make sure experiences are truly open to all.

Accessibility — making sure our digital products are fully usable by people with disabilities — is one of the core objectives of inclusive design, but it is not the only one. We try to ensure the digital products we deliver are inclusive by following best practices such as progressive enhancement. Progressive enhancement is a “content first” design strategy where we make the content available to all regardless of any technology constraints, and then we layer on the styling and interactivity… all the while also following accessibility guidelines.

Accessibility in technology often means ensuring people with disabilities are included, and that certain legal compliances are met. However, an inclusive product means that it’s usable by as many people as possible, including those with disabilities.

Removing a barrier for one person can make a website better for everyone. For example, captions allow a video to be watched in a noisy environment. Keyboard-only navigation makes a website easier to use for someone holding a baby. Good text contrast means a page can be read in bright sunlight. Audio books were originally intended for blind people, but now they’re enjoyed by people of all abilities. Everyone benefits when barriers are removed.

Accessibility and Inclusive Design

Accessibility Quick Checks