The author of a new guide on how to provide organisational support for people with a cognitive disability believes that communication can be made a lot more effective by adopting and embracing simple English. It’s the topic of a fascinating address he gave recently at a conference in Melbourne which you can listen to in a podcast within this article.
The Cognitive Disability Digital Accessibility Guide is an informative 12-page booklet written by Dr Scott Hollier, the Director of Digital Accessibility for Media Access Australia. He launched this practical guide and gave an address on the topic on at the 2016 Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities conference in Melbourne.
This new guide is important for developers as it highlights both the parts of WCAG 2.0 that are currently being implemented in Level AA, along with some of the lesser-known aspects of WCAG 2.0 found in Level AAA that are of real benefit for those with a cognitive disability. Yet the new Cognitive Guide is also very helpful for a variety of job roles within an organisation.
“One of the other things that we’ve tried to look at when we put this guide together is to say well look, it’s quite often the case that people just assume that if it’s anything to do with IT, then only IT people need to know about it,” said Dr Hollier.
“But what we’ve found is actually marketing people need to know about it in terms of preparing emails that go out, and people who use social media need to be aware of how to prepare social media messages, and there’s actually a need for content producers, and people throughout an organisation, to make sure that information is prepared in the way that effectively supports people with cognitive disabilities.”
The new guide has been designed to deliver practical, step-by-step information in order to enable best-practice web and digital communication to be prepared and then delivered in an inclusive and effective way. It also explores the role of affordable consumer devices such as tablets and helpful apps.
You can freely download the Cognitive Disability Digital Accessibility Guide from the Media Access Australia website, as a PDF or accessible Word document. You can also watch a brief video on what this cognitive guide covers.
Listen to an address by Dr Hollier at the Round Table conference where he spoke on Cognitive Disability and the factors and approaches that contribute towards being able to implement effective communication.