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Re: Old Age and Accessibility

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 21:50:28 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200309292050.h8TKoTZ01082@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

> I wondered if anyone had any links or research information about =
> accessibility and usability issues for older users.

Most older people will not have been brought up with computers.  Most
young computer users think that GUIs are easy to use but fail to realise
the amount of knowledge they have built up with continual exposure to

Some elderly will have memory problems, making it impossible to learn.

Most others will be afraid of failing or doing something wrong, whereas
young children learn techology easily because they have no fear of it.

Even those with sound memories will try and write themselves instructions,
and the number of design conventions on web sites these days is so
large that you would probably need to give someone a year's course
on web browsing before they were confident, not just write a one page
crib sheet.  It will probably take several lessons to get even a well
motivated user comfortable with the use of a mouse, if, like most retired
people, they have never used one before.

People who have had cataract operations, and maybe more generally, will
typically have bi-focal glasses that are OK for reading a book or
distance use, but the right distance for a screen will fall halfway between
their usable range.
Received on Monday, 29 September 2003 17:08:12 UTC

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