WebAIM: Insights into Cognitive Web Accessibility

My idea for the future Clear Helper Web site, and the reason I named it “Clear Helper”, is that it will offer tutorials intended for people with cognitive disabilities.  My current thinking is that each tutorial will be offered in three modes: text-only, text with pictures, and video.  Visitors to the site, presumably, would choose the mode easiest for them to follow.

So it was with interest that I reviewed the notes from a brief, related study conducted by WebAIM, and reported by Jared Smith, Associate Director of WebAIM.  The notes were from a presentation entitled “Insights into Cognitive Web Accessibility.”  It was of a user test that attempted to measure the efficiency, the effectiveness, and the satisfaction of participants (N = 8, grade 6 – 12 students with cognitive- or learning disabilities).

Among the findings, detailed in the presentation notes, were that participants did better with: larger text; images paired with text; short line lengths; and video-based instruction.  Insights included recommendations to “make your page LOOK easy” (“simple and intuitive”); “provide error recovery mechanisms”; and “keep visual aids clean, simple, and complementary to the content”.

I will keep these findings and recommendations in mind when designing the tutorials on the future Clear Helper Web site.