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Re: Breaking it Down: Types of Cognitive Disabilities

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 20:01:35 -0400 (EDT)
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0004041946490.27934-100000@tux.w3.org>
Well, let's look for a middle road then.

The guidelines are written in terms of requirements to meet functional
limitations - for example being unable to see hear an audio file, or to
process an applet. So at the guideline-writing end of the process we need to
understand what that requirement is. But you are right that the way to
understand that is to understand what kinds of disability people have, and
how that affects them.

(Why that is only part of the puzzle is that the requirements we end up with
are determined by a combination of what people can do and what assistive
technologies can do.)

So I am going to start a new thread from this one talking about functional
requirements, and carry this one on with different types of disabilities. For
my involvement, this one will be very general -i don't have a lot of
knowledge in the area.

So let me throw in a handful of buzzwords I have heard and ask people to try
and add meaning to them (Note that interpretations of these things can vary
widely. For example the interpretation of Attention Deficit Disorder /
Hyperactivity within Autralian psychiatric/medical/educational circles is a
hotly debated topic. But the requirements that result may be less affected
than the requirements of the people debating them).

Note that I am going to approach this not just from a cognitive disability
perspective, but from a general perspective of disabilities that make reading
difficult (potentially to the point of being impossible).

Dyslexia

Aphasia

Autism

Attention Deficit Disorder

Short-term Memory loss

Learning disability

Downs Syndrome

Acquired Brain Injury

Deafness (not a cognitive disability as such, but can lead to difficulties in
understanding written/oral languages in the same way that blindness can
create difficulties in understanding graphics).

chaals

On Tue, 4 Apr 2000, Kynn Bartlett wrote:

  At 03:47 PM 4/4/2000 , Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
  >Humnour me for a moment, please *grin*.
  
  I always humor you, Chaals!
  
  >Actually, what we are told is that
  >there are some people who cannot read text easily, but for whom screenreaders
  >are indeed helpful. There are other people who not only cannot easily read
  >text, but in fact cannot understand complex written OR oral language, and
  >screen readers will not be particularly helpful.
  
  Riiiiight, which is why identifing users must come before identifying
  accessibility hurdles.  The same hurdle may be solved in different
  ways for different people -- for example, a solution for a deaf user
  may not be the same as a solution for a deaf-blind user!
  
  >Among the latter will be
  >people who are deaf, and for whom any written or spokemn language is a second
  >language. (Or is this an i18n problem... Actually I believe it is a
  >disability problem, but illustrates the deeply related nature of the two
  >areas).
  
  Agreed.  But I think it's important that we -do- identify users
  with CDs distinctly before proceeding, so we know that we are
  indeed meeting their needs.  Jonathan and Anne seem to be indicating
  that we have not, and that concerns me.
  
  So, humor -me- for a while, as I try to figure out who exactly we
  are talking about when we talk about CD users.
Received on Tuesday, 4 April 2000 20:01:42 GMT

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