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Mental and cognitive accessibility in digital realms

Johansson, S. (2016). Towards a framework to understand mental and cognitive accessibility in a digital context. Licentiat dissertation. Kungliga tekniska högskolan


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This thesis has explored the prerequisites needed in digital learning and teaching environments and how they are or are not providing cognitive accessibility. Furthermore, the researcher points out already in the beginning his own understanding of what accessibility means and can accomplish. He also there points out that accessibility is not about how the individual can be provided access through adaptions – but rather a matter of what we today would label collective processes of sustainability for all citizens:

“• Accessibility requires long-term thinking. The structures and systems we create can have long life cycles. Difficulties that are built into these structures and systems can be difficult or expensive to change once they are in place.

• Accessibility creates space for flexibility. Since we do not know how society will change in the future, accessibility principles provide us with margins that might help us manage changes” (p. 12)

The target group and whose exclusion and inclusion are researched in this thesis are people with mental and cognitive disabilities and more specifically how products and services on internet is accessible to them. The tools for navigating and making use of the digital solutions is also put in the fore. As for example tablets, computers, smart phones and other devices. Last, but not least, the study poses questions to designers and developers as to if they are constructing and consider the needs to these people so that they can be included as users, in the design and development process.

Inclusion and Digitalisation: Both inclusion and digitalisation are at the heart of this project, they are well elaborated, and it is a really important study with fresh and new perspectives on accessibility.

Feasibility for this project:This study and the way it use and explores accessibility, can be a model we can adopt.




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