Cognitive Web Accessibility Assessments: Significant Scoring Revision

I have fundamentally revised the scoring of my cognitive Web accessibility assessments. The impetus was my troubling assessment of the Web site for Bipolar Scotland. It achieved a good score, but I judged it to be inaccessible to people with cognitive disabilities.

Scoring System

My 10-point assessments are based upon WebAIM’s Cognitive Web Accessibility Checklist. Three of its sections relate to site content and four to site design. Each section is an assessment criterion. I record one point for each of those that are met, plus a possible point for each of three simple design-related criteria I added to the assessments.

Scoring System Problems

Until now, I had not considered a couple aspects of my scoring system.

  • The design criteria outnumber the content criteria. This meant I was judging sites to be accessible that, like Bipolar Scotland’s, were strong in design but had content accessibility problems. This was not good practice.
  • Because meeting each criterion means one point, my simple design-related criteria had the same significance as the complex, detailed design criteria of WebAIM’s checklist. They should not have.

Scoring System Revision

Site content should have significantly-greater impact on my assessments; the simple design-related criteria should have less. To accomplish this, I now do not consider any site accessible unless, at a minimum, it meets all three content criteria and all four design criteria of WebAIM’s checklist. Any points recorded for the simple design-related criteria improve the total assessment score.

New Site Scoring System, By Points:

  • minimum for “accessible” = 3 content + 4 design
  • total score = those 7 + up to 3 simple design-related