This overview of Steppingstones Cognitive Research provides a brief overview of the findings and observations of a cognitive accessibility survey.
Creating accessible websites for users with learning and cognitive disabilities is an area with little research and few concrete recommendations. While web developers can apply universal principles of web accessibility to benefit all users with sensory or physical disabilities, the application of cognitive accessibility is varied and complex. Due to the limited research and complexity of cognitive web accessibility, common techniques to increase usability for those with cognitive and learning disabilities are hard to come by, despite the fact that the number of users with these disabilities far exceeds the number of people with other types of physical and sensory disabilities.
What to keep in mind while creating websites for users with learning and cognitive disabilities
- Make your page appear easy to use
- Simplicity, error recovery, and intuitiveness can increase efficiency and confidence
- Keep visual aids clean
- A text alternative, a prominent pause feature, and an ability to quickly rewind or replay the video allow users to use multimedia to go at their own pace and take in all of the information
- Sometimes making something more visually obvious also makes it so much different that it can be difficult to find
- While organizational elements (headings, lists, etc.) can help accessibility, they should be clearly differentiable from other elements