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RE: Cognitive Disability

From: Harry Woodrow <harrry@email.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 23:49:03 +0800
To: "Al Gilman" <asgilman@iamdigex.net>, "Terje Bless" <link@pobox.com>, "W3C WAI IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "Jonathan Chetwynd" <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
I am having a little trouble in the concept at present of making sites fully
accessible to all including those with cognitive problems.
I know these people deserve to be able to use the Internet and, as my
daugter works with some I know that they are people with an enormous
capacity to share their feelings with others and a real need exists to try
to try to give them as many opportunities as possible to interact with the
rest of the world.
My problem however is that, apart from the almost endless variety of
individual needs,capabilities and limitanions there seems to be at present
little real understanding of their needs.
Would it be helpful initially to throw away the whole idea of making sites
for them accessible to all but to concentrate initially on what is needed to
make a site accessible for them.  Only after this is done can I see that it
would be possible to marry these needs with those of the rest of the
community so that hopefully all sites can become accessible to all.  I am
not trying to say make seperate rules and keep people with cognitive
difficulties seperate but as a steping stone to true inclusion we surely
have to know what makes a site accessible for people with these needs.
I know a lot of work has been done in the general useability community
regarding the cultural aspects of symbols and it has been shown that what we
think are good symbols for icons do not stand up well in other cultural
I also know that some work has been done on limiting the amount of choices
and information in each page and avoiding distractions.
Can anyone help me understand what are the real needs of people with
cognitive problems, and I know that this is an inclusive term and covers
people with disparite needs.
Hopefully there will come a time all sites can adapt to the needs of all

Harry Woodrow

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Al Gilman
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2001 10:56 PM
To: Terje Bless; W3C WAI IG
Cc: Jonathan Chetwynd
Subject: Re: Cognitive Disability

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