Literature Reviews, Part 1: WebAIM

A few years ago, Robert Bass, the director of New England INDEX, and I were helping the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services think about providing Web-based content to its constituency.  As part of this work, we had been asked by the department to determine best practices for developing Web content accessible to people with intellectual / cognitive disabilities.  I scoured the Web for such literature.  I found almost nothing.  We then contracted with the good folks at WebAIM at Utah State University to look for the same information.  They too found very little.  At the time, they told us they would have to conduct extensive research into the topic (on their own initiative).  Indeed they did.

WebAIM: Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Literature Review, found 159 related articles, and describes the process used to discover them.   Results from the review were broken down into six categories:

  • Conformance with standards / best practices
  • Common design elements
  • Language Use / Reading
  • Enhance Comprehension
  • Structure
  • Attention / Distraction

WebAIM’s literature review is a summary of the findings.  It does not provide references / links to the articles found.  It does list the numbers of literature articles that referenced the elements listed above, and their sub-elements.