On Readability

Open Minds, Silicon Valley aims to be inclusive of everyone. In our effort to be accessible we may not get things right the first time, and that’s okay! Accessibility is a process and we are open to criticism (Byrne-Haber, 2021).

For example, in the last year Open Mind School added header tags and alternative text to our website. This makes the website easier to use for people using a screen reader. Our visual media is now checked for appropriate contrast and text size. We also test with color blind simulators and other evaluation tools.

A key part of cognitive accessibility is readability. These are the factors that help or hurt readers’ understanding, such as the content, structure, or design of a text (Huenerfauth et al., 2009). Researchers have identified many of these factors, making readability tests available online. (Feng et al., 2010).

We used one of these tests, the Automatic Readability Index (ARI), for the text on our website. The test results are presented as a grade level. This article reads at a 7th grade level.

Openmindschool.org’s web pages have a median reading level of 11th grade (Average: 9th-10th grade). The text is more complex than guidelines recommend; our goal is to revise the website to lower the reading level to 8th grade or below.

Please return to this article for updates on the process of making our content more readable!


Open Minds Silicon Valley provides platforms to elevate the voices of diverse students, professionals, and families. We encourage writing submissions to be emailed to eric@openmindschool.org. We look forward to being in touch about possible feature options.