W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-coga-comments@w3.org > February 2015

Cognitive accessibility user research

From: Steve Maslin <stevemaslin.bud@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2015 11:55:52 +0000
Message-Id: <08C053A4-6975-4347-8E3C-762B67C5BF21@gmail.com>
Cc: Alastair Somerville <a.somerville@acuitydesign.eu>
To: "public-coga-comments@w3.org" <public-coga-comments@w3.org>
Dear committee

I write this email with interest in the work you are undertaking as I sit on a BSI committee that looks after BS8300 - the British Standard for access within the built environment.  Within the committee I am leading on efforts to bring together guidance on people's neurological needs within the built environment.  It'd just written a blog which raises the need for a standard. You can find it here: https://stevemaslin.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/design-for-the-mind/

What I have found particularly helpful to the work I've been doing is the realm of Sensory Integration Theory as developed by Dr Jean Ayres and continued by people like Dr Zoe Mailloux and Dr Winnie Dunn.  I'm wondering whether your work might benefit from reference to this theory as a means of connecting the different strands of the picture?  ....Yes there are various cognitive functions and various diagnoses but the common threads that connect our minds to the world about us and information we seek to access is our senses and the neurological processes that take sensory signals and integrate them in order that we are able (with vary degrees of success) to make sense of what we take in without the additional stresses that can occur when we struggle to process some of these sensory signals.  

Another observation. I would also make is that the digital world is often used by people with a variety of access needs (including but not confined to neurological/cognitive needs) and that the quality or otherwise of pre-arrival digital information content varies making it quite difficult for people to effectively plan their journey from "on the page" to "off the page"... It would help considerably if this gap were addressed by digital and physical access standards developers working together in the realm of information content as it relates to access and inclusion on both digital and physical realms..  It doesn't appear that this gap has yet been adequately addressed.

As you may gather from my sign-off details I'm an architect and a member of the uk's National Register of Access Consultants... But you may be interested to know that I have personal experience of dyslexia having been diagnosed over 40 years ago (which I gathered from one of the founders of the British Dyslexia Association as one of the earlier  diagnoses in the UK) and that I have worked as a supply group worker with adults with learning difficulties within Social Services for a period of 6 years during the 90's.  

More recently I have been networking extensively with those working in the realm of digital UX / usability within my local region.

It would be good if there were some way that we might hook up?  Please let me know you thoughts...?

Kind regards


Steve Maslin RIBA NRAC
Director of bud
Building User Design 


Received on Monday, 9 February 2015 11:01:34 UTC

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