Graeae’s mission is to promote inclusivity and accessibility in the arts, placing Deaf and disabled artists centre stage and thereby providing a platform for a new generation of artists. They do this by creatively integrating sign language and audio description in their productions, capturing disabled and non-disabled audiences alike.
The company not only produces up to two major UK touring productions per year, they also offer creative learning projects for Deaf and disabled people, nationally and internationally, as well as offering training programmes for Deaf and disabled artists.
Cog made the somewhat daunting process of a brand new website not only easy and stress-free, but positively enjoyable, and all the team were such a pleasure to work with.
Graeae came to us wanting to re-develop their website to better communicate their artistic output, their varied work and their growing profile. In addition to this they needed their new website to meet accessibility standards in response to changes in browser and access technology. We, of course, welcomed the challenge!
With any project the first thing we do is to ask questions, and lots of them. Why a new website? What can we learn from the old website? What are they hoping to achieve with the new website? What would the dream be?
As well as looking into the numbers and stats (analytics) we spent some time with the Graeae team discussing the goals of the project and why they wanted to do the work.
In this case Graeae’s old website was restrictive and didn’t allow them to show the full breadth of their growing pioneering work and they wanted to better articulate the company’s vision. As well as of course wanting to ensure accessibility for all visitors in an engaging and welcoming way, the new site should employ the ‘aesthetics of access’.
The site should not only be invisibly accessible, the type of accessible that’s only picked up by Google and accessibility tools such as screen-readers, but also be visibly accessible by all users. Showcasing the inclusivity and accessibility of Graeae as a company.
With all this in mind we designed a visually engaging site with appealing accessibility options at the top and a structure that can grow as the breadth of their work does. During the build we ensured to carefully code the site to ensure a high level of accessibility and usability, testing as we went along and then getting some of Graeae’s users to test using their preferred accessibility tools and report back to us. With the confirmation of the site’s accessibility from real Graeae users we were excited and proud to launch their new website.
It’s a site that showcases and provides visual and engaging information about the variety of their work. Featuring large landing images on productions and projects, as well as highlighted accessibility material such as audio flyers and BSL translations.
We are delighted with the results. The new site is exciting and accessible, like Graeae!
Launched: December 2016