Towards a framework to understand mental and cognitive accessibility in a digital context

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Sammanfattning: This digitalization has in many ways contributed to greater inclusion but access to the digital community is not evenly distributed in the population, and we can see that groups of citizens do not feel involved in the transition to a digitalized society, or are not involved as much as they would actually like.The purpose of this thesis is to discuss how designers and developers to a greater extent can be able to take account of accessibility requirements for people with mental and cognitive impairments. The discussion is based on the study “Pilot study on accessibility of electronic communications for persons with mental disabilities”, literature reviews and my experience from almost 25 years of work in the field.The design and development processes I primarily want to highlight are those that produce digital products and services in what we call the mainstream.  Mainstream is the society in which we act as citizens have rights and duties, and where we should be able to realize our dreams, wishes and needs, where we find friends, family, education, livelihood and meaningfulness in the activities and the tasks we perform.The persons who participated in the study describe situations where:Design and development processes often fail to meet the need for cognitive simplicity.Many in themselves relatively simple functions, processes and activities can, used together create new and unknown difficulties.Support processes malfunction.Knowledge of user requirements is missing or does not reach out to the people and the processes where this knowledge would be useful.The people also describes that they are never involved in the design- and development processes, and that the knowledge and experience they possess is not being utilized.There is a need for a transfer of knowledge from the areas that produce knowledge today (rehabilitation, assistive technology, special solutions) to the mainstream. There is a need to explore and describe the knowledge and experience persons with mental and cognitive disabilities possesses. There is a need to work closely with persons who have mental and cognitive disabilities directly in mainstream-solutions in order to improve the digital society. Methods seem to be further developed on how to do this cooperation, in research, in innovation and in ordinary societal processes.The thesis presents a proposed framework for the design and development processes to be able to meet accessibility requirements for persons with mental and cognitive disabilities.