There are two reasons for considering cognitive disability in HCI education:
- because some of our students may have some sort of disability or syndrome
- because they need to design systems for other people who may be
However, as with physical disability, considering cognitive disability
reminds us that every student and every user thinks differently, we need
to educate and to design assuming this. Furthermore under stress, when
tired, when aging, we are all likely to experience various forms of reduced
cognitive functioning - reduction in short term memory, ability to reason
This page was originally created to support "the
right mind?" my SIGCHI Bulletin Column on HCI Education in Jan
2001, but I try to keep it up-to-date.
Designing for Cognitive Limitations, workshop at Dis'2012, 12 June 2012
World Wide Web Consortium - Web Accessibility
Nixty Primer for Educators on Learning Disabilities
- Tutorial developed by National Center for Learning Disabilities and Teachers Without Borders, to help educators understand students with learning disabilities.
NCDDR - National Center for the
Dissemination of Disability Research
- General site about disability research. See particularly a 2003 editorial
Accessibility for People with Cognitive Disabilities"
Disability and Information Systems
in Higher Education (DISinHE)
- A project funded by the UK Higher Education Funding Councils
(Note in the UK Higher Education refers to University level education)
One output of DISinHE is the National
Internet Accessibility Database
lists references to many resources hardware, software, educational materials
IHM-HCI 2001 Tutorial - Enabling
technology for users with special needs - 11th Sept. 2001, Lille
CHI 2006 Workshop on Designing Technology for People with Cognitive Impairments - 22nd April 2006, Montreal
- Extensive resource site on learning disabilities managed by WETA the
Washington area US public broadcasting station. The most relevant part
of the site is LD
in Depth, a categorised resource listing, which includes a section
education as well as other resources.
- UK-based micro-portal on general disability issues with classified
directory, forums etc.
- US-based support site with chat rooms etc, mainly focusing on physical
disability, but with some good links.
Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability
- Broad ranging journal dealing with many aspects of developmental disabilities health, cognitive issues, social support, family lfe, etc. As well as backgorund informationon intellectual and develipment disability, some articles directly related to educational issues, for example, acinle of articiles in vol 31(4).
Accessibility articles and sites
Information on accessibility for cognitive disabilities has grown
considerably since this page was first created in 2001.
Frontier: Cognitive disabilities and learning difficulties
- Discusses particular web based accessibility issues and practical
advice. The page has varios options to change its style so it is a 'living'
- Universal Usability web site devleiped by students at University
of Maryland. Includes section on cognitive disability with overview
of state-of0the-art and useful rfeference list.
WebAIM - Web Accessibility in Mind
- General accessibility web site including section on design
considerations for cognitive disability and a dyslexia simulator
Academic Accommodations for Students with Learning Disabilities
- Guidance on ways to ease the integration of students with learning disabilties into higher education..
Report on Cognitive Disability and the Web
by group at University Teeside working in issues of disability in higher
Aspergers and Autism
Although Asperger's was first identified in 1944, it was only given an
official diagnosis by the American Psychological Association in 1994. After dyslexia,
it is probably the cognitive disability we are most likely to encounter
at University level. At the time this page was first created, information was relatively rare, but far more avauable now..
Bridging the Gap (case study)
- Case study of someone with autism spectrum in higher education. Part of the Autism
Society of America
site, which inlcudes substantial information on all aspects of Autism and Aspergers.
- Advice and resources, aimed more at school age children from the UK National Autistic Society, another site with extensive resources.
Life Journey Through Autism: A Guide For Transition To Adulthood (PDF)
- This report from the Organization for Autism Research includes a chapter on Postsecondary Education (page 35)
disorder homepage (www.aspergers.com)
- by Kaan R. Ozbayrak,Chief Medical Officer, Southwest Behavioral Health Services, Phoenix, Arizona – terse but useful factual infornation about Asperger's
Scientist interview 14th April 2001
- Simon Baron-Cohen from Cambridge University Autism Research Centre
talks to New Scientist about new theories of Autism spectrum and work
on adulty diagnosis including their 10 test for Asperger's
The Autism Advantage, New York Times, 29th Nov 2012
- An article about Specialisterne, a Danish compnay whose autistic-only workforce tackle jobs that non-autistic people can't do.
Caring 4 Our Kids
- Resources for parents of children with autism spectrum and related disorders.
British Dyslexia Association
- The main British organisation dealing with dyslexia including educational
information. The site is sadly still 'half built' - in particular, sections
for categorised information and web links are not ready, but there is
a FAQ with some info.
The International Dyslexia Association
- An international charity and
main dyslexia organisation in the US with extensive web site. The IDA
was formerly called "The Orton Dyslexia Society", named after
Samuel Orton, who was an early worker on dyslexia.
- Another UK educational charity. Biggest UK based dyslexia teaching
organisation. Site has good links, but principally aimed at school
A Framework for Understanding Dyslexia
- UK Dept. for Education and Skills guidance for post-16 education and training.
Dyslexia the gift
- Commercial web site of Davis Dyslexia Association International. However, has a number of freely available reports etc.
Adult Dyslexia Organisation
- UK support and research charity. Their activities including research
an accessibility for dyslexia and was reported in a UsabilityNews article
List launches with Major Research Programme into Accessibility Guidance"
Web accessibility for dyslexia
- Several sites offer advice including Manchester University "Web Accessibility for Dyslexia", Accessibility101 "Designing for Dyslexia", e-bility "Enabling the Internet for people with dyslexia" and dyslexic.com "Accessibility Statement"
Williams is a single gene disorder, like Down's Syndorme, unlike Autism
and Aspergers, which have no simple cause. From a Williams is linked with
both specific cognitive disability and also physical symptoms.
of Williams Syndrome
- information about the genetic cause of Williams part of the Genetics
Science Learning Centre
(The GSLC web page spells Williams with an apostrophe. As far as I can
gather the spelling without is more common, and I assume correct.)
Williams Syndrome Foundation
(UK) - information
Wiliams Syndrome Association
Comprehensive WS Home Page
- Williams Syndrome Foundation (US)
Different Minds, an article about