Cognitive Accessibility 101 by Jamie and Lion at CSUN15

Dennis Lembrée
Mar 10, 2015 · 2 min read

At the CSUN 2015 conference last week, I had the pleasure of attending a session by @JamieKnight about cognitive accessibility. Jamie has autism which makes browsing the web challenging (as well as traveling 6,000 miles to a conference). This was the basis for his presentation.

Jamie shared some methods of how he browses the web including the use of VoiceOver to assist with reading and zooming in on content to reduce clutter. He pointed out that giving up on a website might not be an option as the web is used for essential services these days )such as renewing a license or food shopping). This is a great reminder that we need to ensure enough attention is given to cognitive accessibility as it’s less popular than other areas (such as screen reader support).

Image for post
Image for post
Jamie and Lion about to present at CSUN15. Photo credit: Henny Swan


  • Use visual affordances (not flat design!)
  • Write clear language
  • Make it easy to find most important thing
  • Provide filtering tools; visually group elements
  • Limit decisions/options for user
  • Make “undo” easy
  • Avoid nesting tables and forms
  • Provide feedback on each step of a process
  • Provide inline help on forms where appropriate


Many folks tweeted that this was their favorite session:

Related Reading


Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store