Today's standards for web accessibility, which the European legislation points to, do not sufficiently take into account needs for cognitive accessibility. Since many people need support in understanding digital interfaces, this means that large target groups are left outside the regulatory framework.
There are a number of recommendations on how to design interfaces so that they work better for people with cognitive impairments. But to have a real impact, the recommendations need to be formulated as measurable criteria. This is the main part that is missing to be able to include the requirements in legislation.
That is why this research project was performed.
As a result, this website presents and demonstrates five measurable criteria for cognitive accessibility that build on already existing recommendations. The criteria are free and open to use for anyone working with digital interfaces, whether it is on the demand or the supply side.
The criteria have been thoroughly tested with end users with a variety of cognitive impairments, website owners, IT-suppliers and web accessibility experts.
The criteria can be implemented as they are in most situations. That said, as with all requirements, there may be situations or contexts where it is not suitable or feasible to implement them. Defining exceptions is something that should be done in standardisation processes, if the criteria we propose here should be used for further development.
Since the project is now finished we will not further update or refine the criteria. However, if you have any feedback on the criteria or any use cases that you would like to share, please do get in touch with us.