How to Plan for Cognitive Accessibility For Your Website and why its important as a business owner? Cognitive accessibility is the subject of assisting cognitive and learning disabilities that impact how they process information. Some symptoms that cognitive disorders can affect are a person’s perception, memory, language, attention, problem-solving, and comprehension (w3.org). Some examples of cognitive disabilities are:
- Aphasia – Difficult speaking (finding words), writing, or understanding language.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder – Difficulty with focusing and keeping attention.
- Autism – May have difficulty understanding some communications or social interactions.
- Dyslexia – Difficulty with recognizing letters or words.
- Dyscalculia – Difficulty with recognizing numbers and symbols
- Memory Loss – Difficulty with time, such as remembering past, present, and future events. (deque.com)
At this moment, the writer of this blog has one of these cognitive disabilities, and they struggle daily with all activities that require processing information. These disabilities are real, and because of the ADA, entities that conduct business online must provide solutions for these individuals.
In previous blogs, I spoke about how accessibility is important for your website and that catering your web design to people who have auditory, visual, or hearing impairments can prevent you from infractions or boost your following. Let’s rehash this idea under a new lens; How does cognitive accessibility affect my website, and how can I plan for these users?
People with cognitive disabilities get distracted easily. Often, the process of taking in new information can be so daunting that they stop or pause focus on the task they are working on.
For example, let’s say that a user with a cognitive disability wants to order a pizza online. If the instructions to order a pizza are all text-based, and the user has dyslexia, they would struggle to finish their order due to all the text. If there were too many options on the screen and the navigation of the pizza process was not organic, a person with ADHD could get lost and choose not to place an order. Whether a user is buying pizza or scheduling a service, any mishap is a loss on conversion and a sale.
To prevent this from happening, we can limit options on the site by simplifying the site’s design and content in a less distracting or challenging way. Creating a simpler message increases the clarity for the user. Using common words and phrases rather than technical jargon and removing poor wording can help create a message that is more understandable to a user with a cognitive disability.
Another struggle that users with cognitive disabilities have is cognitive load. Sometimes the process of information can be too much for a user. There are three types of cognitive load:
- Intrinsic load – is the inherent complexity or difficulty of the content itself.
- Germane load – is the amount of concentration and mental effort required to learn the content.
- Extraneous load – external distractions not directly related to the content.
How The AD Leaf can Help your Business Plan for Cognitive Accessibility For Your Website?
People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder report that visual effects and animations can be a source of frustration and distraction, increasing the extraneous load (tpgi.com). As developers, designers, and business owners, we must realize that unless our content caters to all audiences, it can obstruct a few. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. If you contact The AD Leaf Marketing Firm, we will work towards optimizing your website for ADA compliance. You can contact (321) 255 0900, firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete our contact form. We would love to become your trusted advisor for your business!
(WAI), W3C Web Accessibility Initiative. “Cognitive Accessibility at W3C.” Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Accessed October 11, 2022.
Edwards, James. “The Impact of Motion Animation on Cognitive Disability.” TPGi, May 11, 2022.
“An Introductory Guide to Understanding Cognitive Disabilities – Deque.” Accessed October 11, 2022.
“Web Design Considerations for Cognitive Disabilities.” Web Design Considerations for Cognitive Disabilities | Accessibility Tips. Accessed October 11, 2022