Day 1 – Diversity of Disabilities and The Effects of Aging 

Introduction

The Challenge for Day 1 of the 30 Days of Accessibility Testing was:

Learn about the diversity of disabilities and the effects of aging

Both links mentioned in the original challenge of the day were very interesting to read. The one about Diversity of Web Users and the other about Web Accessibility and Older People.

Cognitive and neurological

I read about the Cognitive and neurological disabilities, since they are some of the hardest to understand. It’s not that we know how a blind person or a deaf person live their lives, but we can imagine closing our eyes or our ears to simulate it at some level. But the cognition of a person is more of a mystery, and it’s not very clear what tare the barriers we raise for these people when we create inaccessible web sites.

Some key points to remember with connection to Cognitive issues is to keep the design simple, and use consistent layouts and designs through out the site. Also make sure to keep it as standard as possible, so it fits the expectations the person already has from using other web sites. This is relevant for different symbols used (e.g. the “Hamburger” icon for menu). I’ll address the complexity of the text in a later post of this challenge.

Visual Impairments

I have also done some reading about the different types of visual impairments. It’s important to know that vision isn’t only about strong or weak eyesight. There are people with peripheral field loss and those with center field loss, and some might have different kinds of field loss. Some see red and green both as types of brown, and for some the yellow looks like pink. Knowing all of this is important to our design decisions. For example: making sure a form error message appears next to the field with the error. Another example: avoiding phrases like: “the red fields are mandatory”.

Summary

I didn’t go very deep on this post but I know we will have a lot of opportunities to discuss more later this month. Looking forward to hearing what you focused on during Day1, and what resources you have to share.