Cognitive Web Accessibility: Research 2015

Published in 2015, these resources are original studies, literature reviews and related articles that cite references.

  • Leveling the Playing Field: Improving Technology Access and Design for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PDF)
    The goal of the PCPID 2015 Report to the President is two-fold: 1. To increase the cognitive accessibility of technology that is part of the fabric of everyday lives and strengthen federal policies to ensure that people with ID have equal access to everyday technology, and 2. To increase the availability, quality, and affordability of cognitive support technologies through policies, practices, development, and research.
  • Effect of web page menu orientation on retrieving information by people with learning disabilities
    "The Internet facilitates the provision of accessible information to people with learning disabilities. However, problems with navigation and retrieval represent a barrier for this cohort. This article addresses one aspect of page design, testing whether a horizontal or vertical contents arrangement facilitates faster access to content for people with learning disabilities. Participants were timed as they looked for one-word “dummy” menu entries appearing in various locations along a horizontal or vertical grid. The words corresponded to images shown at random in a word-search type activity. Results were analyzed using mixed effects models. Results showed that mean search times increased as the position shifted from left to right and from top to bottom. Thus, participants undertook the test as if it were a reading exercise, despite the images appearing in the center of the page and the words appearing at random positions. The research also suggests that a horizontal menu may be more effective than a vertical one, with the most important links placed on the left. The propensity to imbibe information “serially” (word-for-word) rather than to skim or look “globally” has important website design implications."
  • Facebook tops list of preferences for people with intellectual disabilities
    “One of the prerequisites of developing accessible software for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is truly understanding how they use technology, and what their needs and requirements are. The Able to Include Project and partner Building Bridges Training (BBT) from the United Kingdom has held six focus groups with people with intellectual disabilities, and has so far analyzed 53 questionnaires. The focus groups showed that Facebook, Google, YouTube and gaming sites are visited by the majority of the respondents, while shopping, general interest, hobbies and sport websites are popular as well.”
  • Easy Surfing - the guide to designing user internet interfaces for people with cognitive disabilities
    This guide has “information about cognitive impairment, 14 recommendations on how to improve the accessibility of websites for people with cognitive impairment, a summary checklist and a matrix, which presents the connections between cognitive ability/impairment and the different website elements.”
  • An Interface to Support Independent Use of Facebook by People With Intellectual Disability
    "The purpose of the present study was to describe the development and initial testing of a cognitively accessible prototype interface for Facebook, called Endeavor Connect, that was designed to support independent Facebook use by people with intellectual disability. The performance of young adults with intellectual disability when completing five common Facebook tasks was compared when using the Endeavor Connect and Facebook interfaces. Results suggest that, when using Endeavor Connect, young adults with intellectual disability completed more tasks independently with fewer errors and required fewer prompts. Implications for research and practice are discussed."
  • Assistive Technologies for Cognitive Augmentation (Chapter 15)
    This chapter in the book: Assistive Technologies (Fourth Edition) Principles and Practice. "The majority of currently available assistive technologies are designed to meet the needs of individuals who have motor or sensory limitations. Those assistive devices are the subject of most of this book. Recently, designers of assistive technologies have turned their attention to the needs of individuals whose limitations are primarily cognitive...This chapter explores applications of cognitive assistive technologies (CATs)."

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