Sunday, January 30, 2005

web accessibility for people with cognitive disabilities

Quite often with web accessibility the only thing that people focus on is visual disabilities. Some people think that if the images on their web sites have alternative text then their web site is accessible to people with disabilities.

The fact is that their are a whole host of disabilities and limitations to keep in mind when developing a web site.

One disability that gets heavily overlooked is cognitive and learning disabilities. Cognitive and learning disabilities is the largest disability community; yet, very little has been written about and very little research has been done about how to make a web site keeping in mind those with cognitive disabilities.

Juicy Studio has just published an excellent article called "Developing sites for users with Cognitive disabilities and learning difficulties." It sets out guidelines for your web site based on a much more detailed paper written by Roger Hudson, Russ Weakley, and Peter Firminger. I think this is a really incredible set of work. I hope that people will take this paper/article and use the observations and guidelines in the development of their web sites.

Juicy studio also has an online readability test that you can run on your site. It will give you a score about the reading level of the content of your web site.

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