ThinkDIFFERENTLY

Content   |   Digital   |   Municipal

Offering practical help and adaptive technology for all individuals and their families

FOSTERING AN INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL ABILITIES

In 2015, an initiative to address the functional needs of adults and children living with disabilities was launched by Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro. This effort, called ThinkDIFFERENTLY, has since been taken up by 65 counties in New York State. It has led to implementation of accessible infrastructure in the county, the training of police officers and first responders in Crisis Intervention and Mental Health First Aid, and hosting the New York Special Olympics Winter Games.

BUILDING AN ADVANCED WEBSITE THAT MEETS AND EXCEEDS ADA COMPLIANCE

The site was designed to help individuals, parents and carers understand the ages and stages that children with intellectual and developmental challenges will experience and outlines how to access state, county and local resources as well as events accessible to all within the area. The website uses a state-of-the-art WordPress plugin called ReciteMe. ReciteMe allows users to modulate the website’s fonts and colors for maximum legibility, as well as activate text-to-speech functions or translate copy into over 100 different languages.

ThinkDIFFERENTLY WEBSITE WINS NATIONAL AWARD

In 2018, the ThinkDIFFERENTLY website was recognized nationally for its accessibility, winning the Center for Digital Government’s 2018 Award in the County Government-to-Citizen Experience category. “At least one in five people who visit your website cannot access your web content easily. They might need to adjust the color contrast settings, make the fonts larger or have the content read out to them. Many more people just want to access your web content the way they want to, either at work, at home or via a mobile device.”   – Eve Ashworth