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Simplified Roadmap Intro (Action-263)

From: Rochford, John <john.rochford@umassmed.edu>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:28:56 +0000
To: "'lisa.seeman'" <lisa.seeman@zoho.com>, "public-cognitive-a11y-tf@w3.org" <public-cognitive-a11y-tf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <55BD19D83AA2BE499FBE026983AB2B580155BB5128@ummscsmbx10.ad.umassmed.edu>
Hi Lisa and All,

I was tasked with writing a simplified version of the intro to our Roadmap and Gap Analysis<https://w3c.github.io/coga/gap-analysis/#introduction>. My first draft is immediately below. It is followed by the text of the intro section. I welcome everyone's feedback.
Our task force is making the Web easier to use by people who have trouble thinking. This is hard because:

  *   there is not a lot of info about how people use the Web;
  *   many people have many needs;
  *   almost no testing has been done;
  *   people don't want to talk about having trouble;
  *   many Website builders don't want to help people; and
  *   text, pictures, and video must be made easy too.

1. Introduction
This section is non-normative.
The Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force's aim is to improve web accessibility for people with cognitive and learning disabilities. This is being done as part of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Accessible Platform Architecture Working Group (APA WG), part of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the W3C. Challenges facing this work include:

  *   Lack of availability of open research: Research on this topic tends to be behind a "paywall" which means that developers and policy makers may be unable to find out what techniques are proven to work to address the needs of people with disabilities
  *   There is a wide range of cognitive disabilities; each type of impairment is different, with diverse symptoms and particular digital accessibility requirements. This adds to the complexity of knowing how to address user needs.
  *   The advice given in the research and available guidance is often vague and is not testable. So, even if developers read the research they would not know exactly what to do or when they have reached an acceptable level of accessibility.
  *   Another major challenge is capturing difficulties related to cognitive disabilities that may be undeclared. People with cognitive disabilities may be embarrassed about their disabilities and may be less likely to request accommodations. They may be afraid of discrimination, especially in the work place. Others are not aware of their disability or of the impact it has on their functioning.
  *   Attitudes and misinformation can also become a barrier to inclusion for people with cognitive disabilities. For example, developers that may feel people with cognitive disabilities are not in their "target audience" and so have no interest in their inclusion. Also, studies of usability often over-sample college students. This can mean that the results work less well for those inadequately represented among sub-groups of college students (such the aging population).
  *   Attitudes and misinformation can also become a barrier to inclusion for people with cognitive disabilities. For example, developers that may feel people with cognitive disabilities are not in their "target audience" and so have no interest in their inclusion. Also, studies of usability often over-sample college students. Thus the results work less well for groups who are not well represented among sub-groups of college students (such the aging population).
  *   Accessibility has typically been based upon the assumption that any website can be designed to be usable by people with disabilities. However, when making a website usable for people with cognitive disabilities, the content itself may need to be changed (e.g. simplified), or support adaptability (e.g. multi-modal delivery).


John

John Rochford<http://bit.ly/profile-rj>
UMass Medical School/E.K. Shriver Center
Director, INDEX Program
Instructor, Family Medicine & Community Health
www.DisabilityInfo.org
Twitter: @ClearHelper<https://twitter.com/clearhelper>

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Received on Thursday, 15 February 2018 13:29:23 UTC

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