21 October 2021


avneeshsingh, becky, Becky Gibson, Bev Corwin, Chris Weidner, cmarte, David Fazio, Fazio, Francis Storr, Francis_Storr, Jemma, Jennie3, John Kirkwood, Joshue108, Juanita George, Julie Rawe, julierawe__, JustineP, Kim Patch, Lisa Seeman, Rain, Rain Michaels, Rashmi Katakwar, Sam Kanta, Steve Lee, Tzviya Siegman
Jennie, Jennie3

Meeting minutes

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<Rain> Slide deck: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1YeqvkeE6xbh8yAAUvliA6v4MqbLsj28dFxzRcMyGTz0/edit#slide=id.p

Rain: Welcome to the Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Making Content Usable Panel

Rain: This session is meant to be a conversation.
… You may have questions that reveal some of your stories.
… We want to give a chance for anyone concerned about recording to state that now.
… And is it ok to make this recording public after TPAC?

Rain: No concerns have been shared.

Rain: (reviews agenda)
… Slides will be available to reference at another time.

Rain: We will review the objectives, and go through some with panelists. Then we will open up to questions.
… We will then talk about what's next.
… You can submit your questions through IRC
… You can cue in IRC using the letter q then the plus sign
… 3 panelists today: Lisa Seeman - co-facilitator
… John Kirkwood is also a member of the COGA task force
… David Fazio - also a member of the COGA task force
… panelists are coga users
… I am Rain Michaels, and a co-facilitator of the task force
… Include this as part of everything you do
… Latest statistics: 930 million people worldwide are a part of this group
… This does not count those that are undiagnosed
… About 12% of the US population are estimated to have cognitive disabilities
… Between 12 and 20% of people show signs of dyslexia
… Looking at these numbers show this is not niche - it is part of our global population
… Cognitive accessibility is imperative
… Especially in light of COVID: digital experiences are important
… Some of the functional needs include attention, language and literacy
… learning, mental health
… Reviewing the slides will share more about the diagnoses
… The slides have more information
… The slide shows a working father, with 2 children with him at the table while he is trying to work
… Cognitive needs can be situational or temporary, example fatigue and others
… Shifting gears
… What is COGA?
… Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force
… Goal: improve web accessibility and usability for people with cognitive and learning disabilities and differences
… There are many myths and biases - causes people to misunderstand, misjudge the numbers
… The task force has 2 parent working groups
… APA WG and AG WG
… We also have a community group which is independent of the task force
… We invite attendees to join this commnity group
… COGA recently published Making Content Usable for People with Cognitive and Learning Disabilities
… We are collaborating with the Silver Task Force for WCAG 3
… We are also working on a mental health literature review
… We plan to release 2.0 of Content Usable, learn more about mental health, and more emphasis on internationalization
… Making Content Usable: aim is to remove cognitive barriers
… This document has many sections
… Objectives, user stories, design guide, user testing, and personas

Present_ Lisa Seeman

Rain: we are going to start with the 1st objective: what things are, how to use them
… I am going to turn to John Kirkwood to talk about this

John K: I have a cognitive disability due to a brain aneurysm
… This has similarities to the impact on a person who is agining
… agingn
… Helping users understand what things are and how to use them is something a lot of people feel sometimes
… This is similar to the issues with flat design
… An aging family member may encounter a flat design
… And they may not find the interactive elements because some of the visuals indicating something is a button are not there
… People can be lost from a cognitive perspective
… This cna be a difficult area for people with cognitive issues

<Fazio> the COVID 19 Small Business Administration disaster loan relief site for federal US government had this problem

Rain: Thank you John
… This reminds me of the concept of affordances
… areas of a something to inform you on how to use it

<Fazio> saliency

Rain: An affordance does not exist if the person perceiving it does not recognize it

Rain: there are ways to ensure the important factors are visible

David F: This is important when I was looking at the Disaster Loan Programs
… There is one for small businesses hurting during the pandemic
… There are lots of images that look like buttons, but they are not all buttons
… In order for any user to understand what needs to be done - the image needs to have saliency
… It needs to differentiate itself.
… And it needs to communicate that something needs to be done with it
… For people with cognitive disabilities, this needs to be really clear
… Some of us do not always know what to do with some of these
… Memories are neural patterns
… If we forget them, we lose out on that opportunity

Rain: That is a good segway to the next object - #2
… Helping users find what they need

Rain: Lisa has an important story about not being able to find what you need

<Fazio> you can still go to the SBA's EIDL site and see what I mean

Lisa: I have an impaired visual memory, among other things
… The word recognition thing people can do is difficult for me
… When my daughter was in pre-school
… They used to send a really long newsletter
… It had lots of information that was nice, but not urgent
… As a slow reader I would not read the whole thing
… One week they had important information down in the content: the kindergarten was closing early for an event in the evening
… I was not going to get to it
… I showed up at the typical time
… And this was late
… I had asked for an accommodation - for information that was important presented earlier
… This is something important to remember: put important information right at the top
… Short, helpful headings that can bring to people's attention the information they need
… Both in the information, and the structure of the site

<Fazio> HCI studies show all users scan web pages for information they're looking for. This is called top down attentive selection with a pre-attentive set )bias of what it should look like)

Lisa: These user needs and being taken into account as part of a specification, it can make it really strong

Rain: Thank you. The next objective: use clear and understandable content
… Lisa you have another good story about this

Lisa: My late father had dementia
… when he was still able to live alone with some support
… He had an upgraded heating/air conditioning unit
… The interface had the word "mode" to switch between heating and cooling
… He could manage pretty well. Someone came in, turned on the air conditioning, and left
… He couldn't turn it back to heating once alone - mode did not mean anything to him
… Learning a new interface was not something he could remember for longer than a half hour
… New information, new jargon, was not going to work for him
… He got hyperthermia
… Thank goodness my sister arrived and took him to the emergency room
… This was the point we decided to have a live-in care giver for him

<Fazio> multiple deliveries of information is important (text + image)

Lisa: This word, if it had said "heating/air conditioning" he may have been able to stay independent for another 6 months - year
… This group is likely to rise in numbers, and the care costs will also increase
… Familiar vocabulary and interfaces can increase their ability to remain independent for longer

<Fazio> use the 1st question is free rule

Rain: thank you Lisa
… The next objective: helping users avoid mistakes and know how to correct them.

<Fazio> if a question is asked twice it's time for a visual device

Rain: David has some good stories on paying taxes

David F: Our brain can only take in so much during a day
… When we sleep, anything we have not added into neural patterns get pushed out
… Taking in more information during the day is why we get tired
… Working through forms, making mistakes...adds to our stress, makes us less able to formulate new memories
… You continue to make the same mistake over and over
… It can impact your life in a serious way, like trying to pay your taxes, or make a deadline to pay a bill
… Once a person with a cognitive disability forgets something, it is gone!

<Judy> [Judy is finding the panel discussion excellent and extremely informative, but was concerned to hear WCAG characterized as only covering issues of visual perception. It is broader than that. Perhaps toward the end of the presentation it may be possible to comment on that.]

John K: This is important. Banking, other services are all moving on line

John K: This can make people visually overwhelmed, visually overwhelmed - to help people prepare for the process

Judy: I am loving the panel discussion. Thank you for both the content and different perspectives

<Fazio> attenvisual masking and inattentional blindness cause this also

Judy: I would like to express some nervousness about how the WCAG guidelines were characterized.
… I think it is broader in terms of disability coverage.
… There are many, many issues that we want to be covering much better in the language and learning areas.
… I am greatful for the work being done.

Rain: that was not our attention.
… I appreciate the correction.
… What I was trying to communicate was the degree of difference when considering understandability
… when thinking about cognitive differences
… Thank you both for that correction Judy.

David F: To put it into context most of the world we take in is visual
… Magic tricks is an example
… There is visual masking: you look at something, something else happens, you don't notice a portion changing
… There is also attentional blindness
… This is how magicians do their tricks
… This happens when completing an onling form
… An advertisement can capture your attention, it can wipe your memory clean, and you don't remember what you were doing before
… This can cause people to make mistakes

Rain: David you did just describe our next objective which is help users maintain focus!

Lisa: All these issues being described might be overwhelming.
… In Making Content Usable we have identified bad patterns, but also shared good design
… Example at the beginning of a task telling people what they need - that is one example

<stevelee> https://www.w3.org/TR/coga-usable/#summary

Lisa: We are really trying to help people identify why people are abandoning tasks
… so these types of issues don't arise in the first place, especially when developing new technologies

<Fazio> A lot of these patterns/objectives effect one another

Rain: thank you. Good discussion on helping users avoid mistakes. And David introduced the distraction concept
… I have my own example of this

<Fazio> I do that a lot too

Rain: I was in the middle of trying to pay something really important, something distracted me
… My focus was taken away, I never did the final submit! I ended up being late, and had expensive penalties
… All that the content created needed to do for something important in the flow - don't distract the user from taking the final step
… The next objective: ensuring that processes do not rely on memory

<Fazio> we got this into a WCAG 2.2 Success Criteria, Redundant Entry (do not rely on memory)

Lisa: After I lock myself out of my accounts, I send an email to my accountant and she can help me
… Sometimes I drive to the bank, and they can be quite nasty about it
… Another person shared with me that they rely on their caregiver to help with this
… This can be a real security breach!
… Others write down their passworc
… password, and this can be less secure
… As people make things more secure, when they don't include these user needs, they are making them less secure
… Having a few user stories and scenarios could have improved the process
… While this is getting better, it could still be improved

Rain: If you were only to do one thing and nothing else, this one is the most important
… To provide help and support - to help those that are blocked, to get the help that they need

Lisa: The data with smart cities was another pattern we found
… People are using an app for parking, and it is WCAG accessible
… It has lots of words, there are ads to sell you car insurance, and other things
… Those that are aging and have age related memory loss
… They tend to put money into the machine instead of using the app
… They don't want to commit to using something, they are avoiding using the app
… This group is now excluded as part of the user group, as part of the decision making
… For things like how long lights last, other decisions being drawn through the data from this app

<Fazio> super important point Lisa +1

Lisa: When people cannot manage the app groups are being invisible
… You won't even know you are missing data - who is not there?

Rain: people becoming invisible - it is not that they are not trying to use the tool, but they are blocked

John K: The importance of having that findable area of help, no matter where you are, or throughout a process
… Sometimes it is the 3rd time you have done it, but having one specific place that is ever-present
… That allows a user to get the help they need - makes a better experience for everyone
… The place is clear, findable
… As a developer or designer, you may not know the abandonnment on page 5 takes time, or has a visual overload for some
… Indicates why there is abandonnment at that time due to something like processing speed

David F: I have an anecdote from user research on whether people would purchase for a major fast food chain
… These individuals were in their late 50s or 60s. They had not made an online purchase
… They reported that they were not sure of what they were doing - they did not feel confident
… that they were doing the right thing. So they had never made a purchase anywhere
… Even though they had smartphones
… If there had been ways to get help, they may have made these purchases

Rain: the final objective: support adaptation and personalization
… I rely on large phones, text to speech extension, and reduced motion
… When my settings or extensions are blocked by an interface, I am unable to visually process the information and my brain shuts off
… What we are talking about is not needs for a niche group of people
… I am an interaction designer, we are part of the work force, part of the day to day
… We are the people for whom the specification is being designer for
… We are ready for questions
… Please use the IRC or Zoom chat

<Fazio> don't be shy

Lisa: Personalization is an excellent example of where the W3C can be part of the solution
… From distractions, to unfamiliar symbols, to can you highlight the right thing
… These can be part of good semantics
… and well designed specifications

<avneeshsingh> Very good session, it completely booked my full attention, a great model for for other groups to follow. And of course great information conveyed through personal stories.

John K: These parameters for cognitive accessibility have been looked at a lot, by lots of different companies
… Companies are doing conversation design
… There is lots going on around keeping information clear and concise - like phone trees
… They have examined interaction designs for phone trees that could be brought over into the other spaces
… Cognitive principles - you can get to the information in a quick way, just like designing for mobile
… These parameters can really help from a cognitive design perspective

David F: Many social media companies are looking into this
… Help users have a positive experience
… When a user enjoys doing something, this creates dopamine bursts in the brain
… It helps us refocus, reduces our stress, helps us have an easier time
… Focus on the positive aspects, and delight people as they move through the process

Rain: That is an interesting point, David. I have been reading that when something is novel or unexpected
… it increases their ability to focus

John K: Unfortunately, this also applies to pop up ads

Lisa: and something this works against us too

Rain: Exactly! The confetti bursts can interrupt cognitive
… In content usable we have an entire section on testing with users
… working with an inclusive group of people, and finding out how they respond so you can find that balance
… between what is supportive, and captures the interest
… David also helps us remember that individuals may have cognitive skills they are not able to use
… Maybe someone has challenges with task following
… But they may also have strengths in other cognitive skill areas
… This can play into specifications as we think about multi-modality
… What cognitive skills do these require?
… Can someone use another cognitive skill that maybe they are better at using

<julierawe__> Rain reminder: Ask if OK to share the recording publicly.

Rain: Please feel free to reach out to us

Rain: I would like to remind attendees that we just covered some of the topic. This is very complex
… There are only 3 panelists here describing their specific experience.
… Please take time to look at the resources included in the slides
… What can you do for cognitive accessibility?
… 1. Work with COGA
… 2. Add some of these user needs to your work
… 3. Ask us to review your work
… We want to help you reach out to us! There are recordings of the session on how to work with COGA
… And we want to raise awareness!
… Tell people about the task force, about our community group, share feedback on Content Usable document, and join us!
… Email the co-chairs

David F: having animals in the work place is positive!

<Rain> Our email addresses: lisa.seeman@zoho.com and rainb@google.com

John K: I agree with that!
… and bring cognitive thinking in early, especially designers
… People are excited about this
… This is an important part of design thinking

Lisa: We are starting to work on mental health which has a huge overlap

<Rain> I forgot to thank Julie Rawe for incredible help with building this deck!

Lisa: If anyone is interested in that area as well, we will be publishing an update

<Rain> And thank you Jennie for scribing!

Lisa: This is important in times of stress and crisis

Rain: we are at time. Thank you Lisa, John, David.
… Thank you Judy for the correction
… Thank you Julie Rawe for helping with the deck, Jennie for subscribing.
… One more ask: is everyone ok with this being posted publicly?

(no objections received)

Rain: looking forward to the join sessions

Minutes manually created (not a transcript), formatted by scribe.perl version 136 (Thu May 27 13:50:24 2021 UTC).


Maybe present: Judy, Lisa