A comprehensive new booklet aims to demystify Cognitive Disability by providing a practical resource for organisational support. The author of the guide, Dr Scott Hollier, is Media Access Australia’s Director of Digital Accessibility, and also wrote the ground-breaking Service Provider’s Accessibility Guide last year. He shares his thoughts on the condition and the new guide in an insightful podcast.
Dr Scott Hollier believes that there isn’t enough readily available information that specifically relates to the needs of people with a cognitive disability. So he put together a practical, ‘how to’ guide for organisations – the Cognitive Disability Digital Accessibility Guide – which addresses their requirements within a media context.
“There’s a real need for organisations to look at this important issue,” says Dr Hollier. “Not just in terms of it being an IT issue, or just for people working at the coalface; it really is an issue where there needs to be an awareness of the needs of those with a cognitive disability across all aspects of an organisation, and this guide endeavours to support that.
“Reading is a really big issue for people with a cognitive disability and the comprehension of information. As is maths comprehension, to be able to understand basic sums. And as the web focuses a lot on being quite visual and text-heavy, that need to read quite a lot of information and maintain attention is certainly a big issue. So the more we can do to make this easier for people, the better.”
So who would find this new cognitive guide useful?
“I think anyone who works in an organisation that is specifically trying to support people with cognitive disabilities could really benefit from this guide,” says Dr Hollier.
Listen to the May 2016 interview with Media Access Australia’s Philip Jenkinson, where Dr Hollier talks about the specific requirements that impact on good communication to those with a cognitive disability, and how his helpful step-by-step guide addresses the key issues.
You can freely download the Cognitive Disability Digital Accessibility Guide from the Media Access Australia website, as a PDF or accessible Word document.