Designing for the Learning Disabled

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Below are a few tips on designing a website for the learning disabled.

  • Be consistent - Make the buttons, links, and the whole appearance of the website as consistent as possible. Aside from the appearance clickable elements should behave as consistently as possible. If you a new tab opens when a button is clicked then use pop-out tabs all throughout. If you make use of drop down menus use them all throughout instead of mixing drop down menus with expandable menus.
  • Do not use idioms - Idioms can be confusing and taken literally. Instead use simple everyday language using words in their literal context/meaning.
  • Avoid using abstractions - If you want an action to be taken spell out what you want to heppen along with the information needed. For example instead of just giving a “Contact Us” link give a telephone number and/or email address beside the words contact us.
  • Summarize your content - Summarize the content of an info-rich page and place the summary at the top of the page. If technical terms are used throughout the article on the webpage make sure you avoid this in the summary and use simple words.
  • Provide an audio version - This is perfect for those with reading disabilities becasue they can just listen to the verbal content instead of having to read through a long article. In the same way if your website has mostly audio content provide a written transcript to help the listening disabled.

to be continued…

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