Photo: Pekka Elomaa

All members of society have the right to obtain the information they need trough their own means of communication. Accessibility means that products and services are designed so that they take the diversity of users into consideration. One important area of accessibility is cognitive accessibility.

Cognitive accessibility

Cognitive accessibility means making contents easier to understand. Accessible information and communication involve not only things like technical solutions for web services but also clarity in the contents of the message so that it reaches all users – including people with disabilities, elderly people and, for example, immigrants.

What is essential in the production of content is to use clear language and produce easy-to-read material, possibly supported with pictures, for those users for whom standard language is not enough. Understanding can be made easier by, for example, including an audio option. In printed media clear and large enough fonts and sufficient contrasts between the background and the text support clarity of layout and accessibility.

Accessibility of websites of public sector bodies is regulated by an EU Directive approved by the European Parliament in autumn 2016. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also requires that services based on ICT are easy to use and accessible to all citizens.