The International Association for Spelling as Communication, aka I-ASC (pronounced “I-ask”), is a global organization of individuals from the nonspeaking and neurodivergent community who work together to make spelling and support accessible to every person who is unable to use speech as a reliable form of communication. I-ASC serves the community by empowering nonspeakers, providing information, resources, programs, education, and events for families and allies, and training Practitioners who teach a communication method called Spelling to Communicate.
Our challenge was to design a website that met the needs of various groups of stakeholders, including new and current spellers, nonspeakers, families, practitioners, professionals, advocates, allies, and donors. We needed to ensure that each group could access information easily and effectively. Additionally, we wanted to create a website that could tell I-ASC’s story more accurately, provide seamless access to the membership portal for practitioners, and make it simple for new employees to onboard.
We identified several issues with the existing website. The website’s main area consisted of 212 main pages, along with a practitioner portal that contained 519. In addition to its large size, there was a lack of organization and difficult navigation. The overwhelming amount of information on the site included duplicate pages, multiple pages with little content, two blogs, resources for nonspeakers and their families, advocates, and allies, and a private login area for practitioners that included resources, video libraries, practice information, and S2C lessons. To address these issues, we decided to separate the private practitioner area from the main I-ASC website. We listened carefully to our client’s needs, which included creating a user-friendly space with a practitioner area that allowed for communication similar to a Facebook group.
We moved all practitioner resources to a private portal hosted on Mighty Networks, which allowed for a private and secure space with organized resources and a communication area similar to a Facebook group for community building within its global practitioner network. This solved several issues, including the difficulty of organizing business practice documents, the resource library, hundreds of S2C lessons, and training videos. We carefully crafted a category and tagging system that made each space easily searchable.
We also transformed the website content significantly. We replaced text-heavy pages with impactful visuals and crafted heartfelt headlines and titles to highlight I-ASC’s profound impact on nonspeakers. We refocused the content to emphasize I-ASC’s commitment to training, education, advocacy, and research for nonspeakers, no matter their communication method. To meet the client’s vision, we developed several custom features, including a custom menu icon reminiscent of an S2C letter board and pencil hover effects for buttons. We integrated AccessiBe to ensure the website met ADA compliance and accommodated individuals with various disabilities and assistive technology. We installed Translate Press to address translation challenges for this global organization, as it was a budget-friendly solution for a 501(c)(3) to make the website multilingual.
We introduced five custom post types, including team member profiles, free S2C lessons, advocacy campaigns, resources, and events, to better organize the website’s backend and improve SEO. These custom post types automatically format on the front end, and appear in defined places simply by checking category boxes. The S2C lessons generate customized printable PDFs that are easily printable or downloadable for use and a category structure in English and Spanish, making them easily searchable by subject matter. We also created a custom global practitioner map that showcased the locations of available practitioners with quotes from each to personalize and engage prospective S2C families. Being a global organization that often hosts events online, we custom-coded a check your time zone button that helped users identify event times in their time zone.
To organize the client’s resources, we established an organized educational resource library for the client’s motoriety hack videos, book recommendations, social media and website recommendations and online videos.
We conducted extensive training sessions, created training manuals, and developed a new branding guide. We ensured long-term success by empowering I-ASC with the skills to manage their website. Finally, we collaborated closely with the Spellers and Allies Network advocacy group, weaving their story throughout the website, and teaching them about the marketing flow of a campaign, the purpose behind it, and how to support it by researching and writing blog posts in addition to purposeful social media campaigns.
The transformation of the I-ASC website was not just a redesign for Hive Media Studio. Through our strategy and refinement process, understanding I-ASC’s community, goals, and objectives became a passionate endeavor and a personal commitment that leveraged creativity, innovation, and collaboration to bring to life a platform that genuinely tells the remarkable story of I-ASC. It empowers individuals of all abilities worldwide, championing their voices and advocating for a more inclusive future. I-ASC’s website stands as a testament to the unwavering commitment of its community. It serves as an invitation to join this movement for change, making it a place where visitors don’t just interact with a website but become a part of a global force for good.