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Needs for older users
[Editor's DRAFT - 23 July 2008]

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The literature review is intended to provide a needs compilation and comparison, by reviewing and comparing differences and similarities between the technical and outreach needs of people with accessibility needs due to ageing, and the technical and outreach needs of people with disabilities, with regard to Web accessibility. The current 14th May draft has collected and commented on a wide range of literature; the discussion below is an initial analysis of this material identifying the needs of older users and the overlap with WCAG and identifying additional issues brought out by various authors and investigators.

Analysis of the various published ‘senior friendly’ guidelines and the research studies into older Web users has identified a number of needs that are commonly recommended. Some of these mirror or overlap the WCAG 1.0 Checkpoints, others are more closely related to traditional usability


Many of the recommendations, especially from the 'senior friendly' sets of recommendations, closely mirrored WACG 1.0 Checkpoints even though few of the authors referenced WAI or WACG 1.0. However, in general these recommendations did not mirror the more technical Checkpoints reflecting the fact that most studies worked with older users who were not disabled, or were not acknowledging their disability and utilising adaptive strategies or assistive technologies.

Three documents analyse the requirements form the various studies collected for the literature review:

A further analysis of references within the seven evidence or research based sets of comprehensive recommendations reinforced one of our initial hypotheses that a lot of repetition has occurred in this space, with very little referencing of WCAG 1.0 as already stated, and similar low levels of cross referencing.

From the three requirements collections a number of needs were commonly identified by many studies. The following clearly stand out:

Additional needs were identified by some authors, but this collection seems to be the most prevelent.