Media Access Australia has produced yet another great media guide. The latest is for people with cognitive disability. If you are looking for specific information about how best to accommodate and interact with people who have a cognitive disability, this Guide is for you.
The Cognitive Disability Digital Accessibility Guide is designed to provide practical, step-by-step information for designing and delivering effective best-practice web and digital communication. It provides useful information on:
- Guidance on policies and technical standards that best apply to people with cognitive disabilities in an organisational context.
- Creating websites that support people with a cognitive disability.
- Developing documents structured and written in ways that support people with cognitive disabilities.
- Preparing communication messages for people with a cognitive disability.
- Understanding how best to support people with cognitive disabilities in their ability to use computers and mobile devices.
The Guide also covers traditionally-implemented accessibility guidelines of WCAG 2.0 Level AA as well as looking at the increasing relevance of Level AAA requirements. The guide also delves into the role of affordable consumer devices such as tablets and helpful apps.
Of course, if the design is suitable for people with cognitive disability, there is a very good chance it is going suitable for everyone.
People with cognitive disabilities or impairments include: acquired brain injury, autism, dementia, developmental disability, Down syndrome, intellectual disability, dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, and learning difficulties in general.
Microsoft has produced a great document that spells out the need to design inclusively. The way the issues are explained can be applied to any design discipline. This resource is a best practice example of how to present a persuasive argument for designing universally. Here is a sample from the text:
“Inclusive design has a strong heritage in accessibility. There are great examples of inclusive practices from architecture, physical products and public spaces. Yet, digital technology presents new opportunities to expand this expertise in new ways. In this toolkit, we define inclusive design as a set of practices that can be applied to any existing design process. Inclusive is how we design. It’s our tools and methods. In comparison, accessibility offers ways to improve access to what is already designed. A curb cut is still a curb. The cut makes the curb more accessible. Inclusive design gives us ways to design for ever-changing human motivations and needs. And design systems that can adapt to fit those diverse needs.”
Download the toolkit here