Accessibility for those with Learning Disabilities
When discussing accessibility web designers often take into consideration users that have slow internet connections, use alternative browsers, and other technical factors that might result in difficulty accessing a website. With regards to people with disabilities, although there are still many websites that still do not use alt tags, the needs of the visually impaired are also usually taken into consideration. What is usually left unnoticed are the needs of those with other disabilities such as learning disabilities.
Learning disability is defined as “a condition that either prevents or significantly hinders somebody from learning basic skills or information at the same rate as most people of the same age.” People with learning disabilities, contrary to the belief of some, actually usually have an average to above average intelligence but do not perform well in school due to “difficulty in one or more of the following areas: listening, speaking, reading, written expression, mathematics, and reasoning.”
As website designers you can actually help those with learning disabilities by ensuring that your website takes into account their needs. Of course those with that experience difficulty in listening, speaking, math, written expression, and reasoning are usually not affected when surfing the web since reading is the skill that comes to play.
In my next post I will outline some things you can do to ensure that your website is as friendly to those with reading disabilities as much as possible.