Guide Dogs for the Blind

At Heller Consulting, we believe that designing for accessibility is designing for everyone. We no longer ask ourselves, “Do we need to make something accessible?” It’s now, “How do we design this for everyone?” That concept is built into our best practices as part of our commitment to inclusive design.

 Guide Dogs for the Blind strives to be as accessible as possible and we appreciate the Heller teams’ willingness to learn and adapt their materials and approach to be inclusive in their work with us and other clients.

Laura Peabody-Park
Guide Dogs for the Blind
Director, Information Technology

The Challenge

Our understanding emerged during our recent work with Guide Dogs for the Blind, a leading guide dog school that envisions a world with greater inclusion, opportunity, and independence by optimizing the unique capabilities of people and dogs. Our work with Guide Dogs for the Blind was multi-faceted. They approached us after internal strategic planning and together we developed a CRM Roadmap with the goal of transitioning their fundraising and programs departments onto the Salesforce platform.

The Solution

We moved through a multi-phased implementation that included both people-oriented and canine-oriented departments. Throughout the project, we were inspired by Guide Dogs for the Blind’s dedication to its constituents and we learned from their passionate example to make everything as accessible as possible. This included everything from the technology solutions we implemented to the documents and training we delivered. 

Incorporating Inclusivity 

Here are some ways that we’ve incorporated inclusivity and accessible design into our project work to be effective partners with our clients: 

  • Consider how to work with the organization’s culture and etiquette around communication and respecting every user. For example:
  • How far in advance should we send documents or presentations so that everyone can prepare to participate effectively? 
  • What level of detail should we use for descriptions, context, and alt-text for graphics and photos during presentations or in deliverables? 
  • Ask clients (or users) up front if there are any specific accessibility needs to take into account. 
  • Ask if there are organizational policies around choosing vendors that are committed to developing accessible products. 
  • Understand the accessibility technology, such as screen readers, that end users might utilize and consider how we can tailor a CRM to meet the requirements of those tools. 

At Heller, we strive to assess the systems available through the lens of any accessibility needs users may have. It is a matter of awareness, a willingness to learn and evolve, and a commitment to the needs of our clients.