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Cognitive Accessibility Design Pattern: Include Symbols and Letters Necessary to Decipher the Words

User Need

I need words to include accents, characters, and diacritics that are necessary to phonetically read the words. This is often needed for speech synthesis and phonetic readers in languages like Arabic and Hebrew.

What to Do

Include vowels, letters, or diacritic marks that users need to decipher words correctly. This is often needed in languages like Arabic and Hebrew.

How it Helps

Some languages, such as Hebrew and Arabic, have optional vowels and diacritic marks. Without these marks, most words with the same characters have between two (Hebrew) and seven (Arabic) different ways of being pronounced with different meanings. Most readers can read the word based on the context, and use their visual memory to guess the correct pronunciation. People with impaired visual memory, slow readers, and text-to-speech may often guess the incorrect term or pronunciation.

For example, a user with a language disability is trying to sound out a word. They guess three different pronunciations until they find one that makes sense. Unfortunately, many people with language impairments cannot work out the meaning as words out of context may only provide an idea rather than a specific meaning. Text-to-speech often requires these characters to speak the correct word.

Note that not all diacritic marks are necessary to pronounce the word correctly. Only letters and diacritic marks that are necessary for the unambiguous pronunciation need to be included.

More Details

Words can be deciphered and pronounced to have the correct meaning.

Getting Started

In Hebrew add additional Yud (י) and Vav (ו) that enables correct pronunciation.



  1. Additional letters or diatric marks that enable correct pronunciation. For example:
    • He says: אֹמַר /אומר (Hebrew)
    • He wrote: كَتَب (Arabic)
    • Books: كُتُبْ (Arabic)
    • It was written: كُتِبَ (Arabic)


  1. Words without needed letters or diatric marks so the user must guess the pronunciation based on memory and context. For example:
    • אמר (Hebrew)
    • كتب (Arabic)

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