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LAIC Lab – Language Accessibility and Inclusive Communication

The Lab develops solutions that allow for accessible communication and enables the ZHAW to establish networks with research and private sector partners. Working together with these partners, we offer services for public institutions, organisations and companies.

What is accessible communication?

People with sensory and intellectual impairments experience difficulties in accessing communication offers and services in both their private and professional lives. Individuals with a reading disability or who are not proficient in the local language where they live are also faced with similar obstacles. With linguistic, technical and organisational improvements, these difficulties can be reduced or even eliminated in many areas. Such solutions may include:

The Lab suggests solutions

The Lab provides solutions that facilitate accessible communication. It establishes networks comprising people and institutions from the world of research as well as private sector players, organisations and public institutions. Together, we apply research findings in a needs-based manner to practice, while also promoting the further development of solutions and offering support during implementation processes.

Possible scenarios in which the Lab can offer solutions:


The Lab offers advisory services and develops guidelines and standards. It also helps with the implementation and application of solutions that allow for accessible communication. The actual services are primarily delivered by the professorships and partners.

Area Services
Methods Audio description
Speech-to-text interpreting
Easy language
Sign language and sign language interpreting
Technologies Accessible web solutions
Accessible digital documents
Participation and inclusion Includion of people with little knowledge of the local language
Inclusion of people with sensory and cognitive impairments
Accessible corporate communication


In order to develop innovative solutions and services, the Lab collaborates with different stakeholders from both the private sector and academia. Within the ZHAW, the Lab cooperates closely with the following partners:

Target groups

Accessible communication is primarily targeted at people with sensory and cognitive impairments and/or a reading disability as well as people with little knowledge of the local language where they live. However, everyone can benefit from accessible communication to some extent.

The Lab’s clients comprise organisations, companies and public institutions whose target groups include people with sensory and cognitive impairments and/or a reading disability. These individuals may be their employees, members, clients, partners or other stakeholders.

Why the Lab is needed

  • Accessible communication allows people to participate in social life in a self-determined manner.
  • Due to the ageing population, the number of people with disabilities is expected to increase substantially in the future.
  • With the signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in April 2014 and the current legislation in place in the form of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), accessible communication is of great importance to Switzerland under the principle of inclusion.
  • There are already many solutions for accessible communication. Our task is to increase awareness of these solutions and to further develop and implement them in a needs-based manner.



Upcoming events

We are planning new events on the topic of accessible communication. Detailed information will be provided here in due course.

Past events