Cerebral palsy (CP) refers to a group of neurological disorders. Cerebral means having to do with the brain and palsy means weakness or problems with using muscles. While symptoms of CP can vary greatly from person to person, the definition indicates that people who have CP will all have problems with movement, balance, and posture.
However, many individuals with CP will also experience some form of cognitive/intellectual impairment, which can include:
•Behavior issues such as anxiety;
•Short attention span and problems staying on task;
•Sensory challenges that can make it difficult to understand what is being heard and/or seen;
•Learning and memory difficulties; and
•Problems with vision and/or hearing.
Web Design Accessibility Tips
With all the technology available today, it is important for developers to consider the web design issues that their web sites and software may have on those who have CP. Following are some accessible web design tips based upon the WCAG 2.0 Guidelines and Section 508 Standards that developers should keep in mind to improve the accessibility for those with CP.
Vision – Seeing the Screen
•Use high color contrast.
•Don’t rely solely on color to provide meaning.
•Ensure that the content can be easily enlarged or magnified.
•Use relative font sizes so text will still flow naturally at larger sizes.
•Don’t put text in images.
•Avoid scrolling or flashing text and images.
•Provide clear and useful navigation.
•Include a “skip to” option to navigate over menus and navigation bars.
•Add alternative text or captions to all images.
Hearing – Hearing Sound
•For any pure audio content (such as a podcast), provide a transcript.
•For any video content, provide subtitles/closed captioning.
•Ensure that all audio content is at an appropriate and consistent volume.
Motor – Keyboard and Mouse
•Wherever possible, make all functionality keyboard accessible.
•Allow enough time for users to accomplish tasks, such as clicking on moving elements.
•Minimize the number of steps that are needed to accomplish tasks.
Cognitive – Reading and Spelling
•Ensure that steps that need to be taken are organized in a clear and logical order.
•Consider creating a simpler interface with fewer options.
Further reading from WeCo’s Accessibility Blog about designing accessibility for people with cognitive disabilities, limited fine motor skills, and mobility disabilities: