Addressing Cognitive Disabilities
Written content is easiest for everyone to understand when paragraphs and sentences are short, direct, and easily scannable. People with dyslexia, distractibility, and learning disabilities will have difficulty comprehending poorly written text. Follow this advice for writing accessible text:
Write for your audience
Write for scannability
Write clearly and concisely
Microsoft Word includes readability statistics. They are available in the Proofing Options screen.
The Averages section identifies how many paragraphs and sentences may be too long. The Readability section alerts when sentences should be rewritten in the active voice and provides an estimate of the grade level of the writing.
The readable.io website offers is another option for readability testing. Their reports show additional statistics and scores that are not available in Microsoft Word. The readable.io report also has a built-in highlighting engine showing areas where your text might be improved.
Want to better understand how someone with a cognitive disability will view your writing? WebAIM created a Dyslexia Simulator and Distractibility Simulator you can try.
Here are some simple accessibility tasks anyone who creates Microsoft Office or Adobe PDFs can complete.
Use the styles dropdown menu on the home ribbon instead of the b and i buttons to create headers and emphasized text.
Right Click images to enter alternative text for the visually impaired. Also, when creating links in documents, go to Insert > Hyperlink and enter text to display.
Run the Accessibility Checker in Microsoft Word. The button is located on the Review ribbon.
Review Adobe's guidance for making accessible PDF files.
Set up Word (with Acrobat installed) to improve accessibility of PDF export: File > Save as PDF > Options > Enable Accessibility and Reflow with Tagged Adobe PDF.
Or, set up Word (without Acrobat installed) to improve accessibility of PDF export: File > Save As... > PDF > Options > Document structure tags for accessibility
Use "Full Check" from the Adobe Acrobat Tools > Accessibility pane.
Adress Hearing Disabilities
Audio and video should include written transcripts for people with hearing disabilities. The transcripts can be displayed in a separate document or within the media as closed captions.
Videos uploaded to Youtube can be automatically captioned.
Web Developers should be aware of accessbility strategies when writing code. Some of the more common overlooked mistakes include missing alt attributes in image elements, missing label elements for form fields, and pages that are difficult to navigate with a keyboard.
Read more information online about the Try the Web AIM Screenreader Simulation to learn how the blind surf the web. Test your completed pages in the WebAIM Accessibility Evaluation Tool.
Try the Web AIM Screenreader Simulation to learn how the blind surf the web.
Test your completed pages in the WebAIM Accessibility Evaluation Tool.