Cognitive Disability Digital Accessibility Guide: A practical resource for organisational support

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The Cognitive Disability Digital Accessibility Guide was created by Media Access Australia to provide guidance on how best to address accessibility-related issues for people with cognitive disability in a media context.

It comes from an often expressed need from organisations for specific information around how best to accommodate and interact with people who have a cognitive disability. This new booklet is a companion piece to the ‘Service Providers Accessibility Guide’ from late 2015.

It has been designed to deliver practical, step-by-step information in order to enable best-practice web and digital communication to be prepared and then delivered in an inclusive and effective way.

There are a number of disabilities where a cognitive disability may be a significant factor for an individual. Such disabilities include acquired brain injury (ABI), autism, dementia, developmental disability, Down syndrome, intellectual disability and traumatic brain injury (TBI). There are other disabilities where people may have a cognitive disability, such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), dyslexia (difficulty reading), dyscalculia (difficulty with maths) and learning disabilities in general.

The guide explores traditionally-implemented accessibility guidelines of WCAG 2.0 Level AA as well as looking at the increasing relevance of Level AAA requirements. This includes the need to ensure that a quick reference sheet is written to a lower secondary education level of simple English, along with the need to define abbreviations and acronyms. The guide also delves into the role of affordable consumer devices such as tablets and helpful apps.

Examples of where this Guide may provide useful information include:

  • 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.

Download the Cognitive Disabilities Digital Accessibility Guide

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