Accessible documents for readers with cognitive differences

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. During the month, the Digital Accessibility Working Group, which focuses on digital accessibility initiatives, will be sending out weekly messages to promote awareness.

Did you know?

  • 54% of the disclosed disabilities among App State’s students are attentional or cognitive differences like ADHD and Learning Disabilities.
  • Document formatting can improve comprehension for readers with cognitive differences.

Designing documents that are easy to understand

Make your documents simple, structured, and flexible to help all readers.

  • Simple:
    • Use clear, concise language. You can use Hemingway to edit text for readability.
    • Use formatting like bold or color sparingly. It’s good to call attention to key points, but excessive formatting may distract readers.
  • Structured:
    • Label each section of your document with a heading.
    • Break up long passages of text by using bulleted lists.
  • Flexible:
    • Present the same information in multiple ways, such as a numbered list of steps and a flow chart. 
    • Use digital formats like Word documents or web pages that readers can adjust to meet their needs. For example, a reader with dyslexia may use SensusAccess to convert a Word document to an audio file.

What can you do?

Review important documents like course syllabi and student forms. Are they simple, structured, and flexible?

Published: Oct 25, 2021 9:19pm