Writing & Text
[Author: Bill Fischer]
Integrating visual narratives is at the core of this universal design writing style. Doing so, effectively, will eliminate the need for separate audio-described versions of animation, video, and film, as well as bring illustrated print media to life for the sight-impaired viewer or reader.
Clarity For All
Use a Familiar Story Convention.
Presenting information in a story format will help viewers remember the information presented because they can associate each of the facts with parts of the story.
List the socio-emotional events that will be integrated into the story
List the characters and props that will be included, and make them inclusive.
Wrap them into a conventional four-part story. Append notes describing the scenes that will be included in the illustrations or video
Life in balance
Set up: the problem presented
Body: the problem gets worse
Resolution: the problem is solved
Add visual narrative text or sight-impaired and neurodiverse populations
Check for inclusive pronouns and adjust accordingly.
Write in a Visual Narrative Style
Integrating descriptions of what is happening in the story provides persons of all sensory abilities the clearest possible understanding of the narrative by creating visual-auditory associations in the brain.
Here is an example from a script for a scene in an animation created by KCAD student Luke Cleveland as part of The EPIC Project (external link). The visual narrative bits are broken out and listed below the line (there can also be office sound effects that help to set the scene)
“I’m in my cubicle, my bachelor’s degree on the wall, writing editorial opinions for my online newspaper, trying, trying, to filter out the din of the copy machine.”
The Visual Narrative Bits
my cubicle, my bachelor’s degree on the wall
the din of the copy machine
Inclusive Writing: Gender Neutrality
Part of inclusive writing may involve neutralizing references to gender or sex, such as using "they" in place of "he" or "she". Strict english language traditionalists may take umbrage with this usage, but it seems to be accepted in contemporary writing more often than not and I believe inclusivity trumps tradition in these cases.
Examples of Gender Neutral Titles
Here are a few examples
businessman: business person, business people
chairman: chair, chairperson
mailman: mail carrier, letter carrier, postal worker
policeman: police officer
salesman: salesperson, sales associate, salesclerk
stewardess: flight attendant
waitress/waiter: server, table attendant
man: person, individual
mankind: people, human beings, humanity
freshman: first-year student
man-made: machine-made, synthetic, artificial
congressman: legislator, congressional representative