The HMRC launched a brand new online platform submitting tax details on Thursday and Dyspraxia & Life were asked to play a part in its development with three writers being involved testing it out during the development and providing feedback, comments and insight into how their Dyspraxia can affect how they interact with and process online systems, instructions and forms.
The magazine was contacted in September asking for volunteers with Dyspraxia to test a service called the ‘Secure Data Exchange Service’ which will enable users to upload important tax documents such as receipts to and from an online portal. The revenue and customs body were keen to get insight and feedback from adults with Dyspraxia to ensure the service was user-friendly and accessible.
People with Dyspraxia can deal with range of issues daily, the issues vary between individuals but a number of these will impact how someone interacts with a piece of software. Things like, typing, planning, sequencing , problems with short-term memory and sensory issues can all come into play when navigating software.
Harry Agar from the HMRC said: “At HMRC, new services are designed to be accessible and usable by the whole population. Knowing that Dyspraxia is a learning difficultly that sometimes gets overlooked, it was very important to us that feedback from Dyspraxics was incorporated into our new system”
Jade who has Dyspraxia and Aspergers and is from London said: ”Testing for the HMRC was brilliant. As a neurodivergent person, I’m an avid research participant who has contributed to autism research on many occasions but I’ve sadly never been invited to be a participant on any Dyspraxia studies. It was great to be part of something where the orgainsation had awareness of the condition and asked me what challenges I face and how they can make the service that caters to people with the condition, knowing that we can often struggle with processing and organisation. “
Our volunteers were given different versions of the platform and were asked for feedback on wide range of aspects such as the colours used, the use of certain words and functions and even the placement and positioning of the information on the screen.
Chris, a workplace coach who has Dyspraxia and Dyslexia said: “It was a positive experience doing the testing. The testers were patient and flexible and very open to me sharing experiences of my own challenges with health, vision and neurodifferences.”
Our third volunteer, Sophie, a nutritionist, originally from Devon, added: “It was nice to feel my different view on things was valuable and it made me think more about other platforms I use and how and why they work or don’t work for me as a person with Dyspraxia.”
Editor, Pete said: “Dyspraxia & Life were thrilled to be contacted and this shows that the condition and those with it are being acknowledged and their differences appreciated. The world isn’t really designed for neurodivergent people so to have a body like HMRC approach us with a determination to develop something that is not just user-friendly for the mass majority but also for people with Dyspraxia is hugely positive.”