Cognitive Web Accessibility Assessment, Second Attempt: Site Failure

This post is my second structured assessment of cognitive Web accessibility.  I describe how it is performed in my assessment plan.  It is less-detailed than my first assessment, but it again addresses every relevant guideline of WebAIM’s Cognitive Web Accessibility Checklist.

Web Site: National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities

home page of National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities


  • Consistency. One point is awarded.
    • Success
      • Navigation is consistent throughout the site.
      • Similar interface elements and similar interactions do produce predictably similar results.
  • Transformability. No point is awarded.
    • Success
      • Images are readable and comprehensible when enlarged (scaled to 200% and 300%).
      • Color alone is not used to convey content.
    • Failure
      • Increased text sizes (200% and 300%) are not supported by the navigation menu.
      • The disabling of styles is not supported.  On the home page, Latin (Lorem Ipsum) text appears, as well as non-contextually relevant links (“Sub-Link 1”, etc.).
  • Multi-Modality. No point is recorded.
    • Success
      • Icons of top menu are contextually-relevant.
    • Failure
      • No video- or audio alternatives are provided for textual content.
      • No images are used to convey or to enhance content.
  • Focus and Structure. One point is awarded.
    • Success
      • Distractions are avoided.
      • Stylistic differences are used conservatively to highlight important content.
      • Content is organized into well-defined groups.  Headings and lists are used.
      • White space is used for separation.
      • Background sounds are not used.
    • Failure
      • White space and visual design elements are not used to focus user attention.  Particularly because of the red background color of the menus, attention is instead focused on them.
  • Readability and Language. No point is recorded.
    • Success
      • There is no tangential-, extraneous-, or irrelevant information.
      • Grammar and spelling are correct.
      • Tables of contents are provided for complex or lengthy content.
      • Text-readability criteria are met.
    • Failure
      • Language is not as simple as is appropriate for the content.
      • The reading level is inadequate for the audience (assuming it is people with developmental disabilities).
      • Jargon is used.
      • Expansion of abbreviations and acronyms is inconsistently implemented.
      • Text is not succinct.
  • Orientation and Error Prevention/Recovery. No point is recorded.
    • One form was found.  It has only one field (password).  It fails assessment of the related checklist criteria.
  • Assistive Technology Compatibility. No point is recorded.
    • Success
      • A logical heading structure is used consistently.
      • The navigation order is essentially logical.
    • Failure
      • Use of alternative text is inconsistent.  There is none for the images of the text-size changer.
      • Form labels: the only field on the one form is missing a label.
      • Links do not make sense out of context.  There are multiple “Learn More” links on the home page.
      • Keyboard accessibility is problematic.  Navigation menus are not visible via keyboard navigation.
      • Descriptive and informative titles are missing from many pages.
  • The site attempts to meet W3C accessibility standards. One point is awarded.
  • There is no accessibility statement. No point is awarded.
  • There is no explanation about how to use accessibility features. No point is awarded.


Three of ten points possible are recorded.


The Web site of The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities is inaccessible to people with developmental disabilities.