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Selkeästi meille Project 

On this page you can read about what the Selkeästi meille project is and what it is trying to achieve and how.

Selkeästi meille Project (Clearly for us Project) is a three-year developmental project cooperated by Kehitysvammatuki 57 and Kehitysvammaliitto. Its aim is to increase the self-determination and participation for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) by adding cognitive accessibility in the society.

To gain its goal the project aims to make the internet more accessible to people with IDD and to achieve its goal the project is

  • developing criterion for assessing cognitive accessibility
  • assessing the cognitive accessibility on different websites and mobile applications
  • supporting self-advocacy of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to make their voices heard about more accessible the internet
  • communicating widely about the importance of making the internet services accessible to all people.

People with IDD are active participants

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities have an active role in the project. They are both in paid employment and taking part in strike groups based on voluntary participation.

  • The persons employed with IDD test and evaluate on websites based on their own experiences.
  • The strike groups are workshops where people with IDD learn about web accessibility and cognitive accessibility and learn how to make an impact and get their voices heard.

Cognitive accessibility is vital to persons with IDD

People use the internet to handle their personal affairs more and more. Persons with learning disabilities need support to use the internet but it is also essential that the websites and mobile applications are easy to use and easy to understand, that means they are cognitively accessible.

In the project we want to make online services more accessible. It means they are easy to use and understand. When different online services are more accessible more people including people with IDD can use them and manage their own lives. When people can manage their own lives, they can make choices and it helps them to live their lives the way they want.

There is a law about web accessibility, but it doesn’t require online services to be understandable and easy to use. Selkeästi meille Project has an important role to add awareness that cognitive accessibility is as important as technical accessibility.

Cognitive accessibility has to do with learning, memory and perception but cognitive accessibility benefits all of us. All of us are sometimes cognitively impaired and the older we get, the more easy-to-use and easy-to-understand services we need.

About the assessments

Assessing is based on testing and evaluating and use of the criterion for cognitive accessibility developed in the project. The assessment process includes additional user testing with people who have some cognitive impairment. User testers are paid for participating in testing. Every assessment helps to develop the criterion for cognitive accessibility further.

The organizations that take part in assessments get a comprehensive evaluation of their webservice, which means identification of the parts that are done well and of the parts that need improvement. The reports include suggestions how to improve the cognitive accessibility of the webservices.

The organizations that have gone through the assessment process and want to improve their webservice’s cognitive accessibility get a badge of recognition called Tämä palvelu on selkeästi meille (This service is clearly for us).

About the strike groups

In the strike groups people with IDD learn about web accessibility and train how to make an impact on the society and get their voices heard. As a group they choose a webservice they would want to use but it is too hard for them to do that. They give suggestions to the organization on how to make the webservice easier for them to use, they strike, hence the name of the group.

The groups meet both face to face and via online meetings. Depending on the group the meetings can be organized either face-to-face or via online or combination of these two. Groups meet approximately five times. The group strikes and the aim is to get the organization to understand the importance of cognitive accessibility in their webservices.

About the criterion for assessing cognitive accessibility

The criterion for assessing cognitive accessibility is based on the observations made in the project. When the project started the idea was not to presume anything but test and observe. Two employees with cognitive impairment made different kinds of tasks on different kinds of websites and afterwards the team watched the test videos, discussed the tasks together and made notes. Soon there was the first version of the criterion and it was ready to be used as a tool in the assessments. It is to be updated until the end of the project. Every evaluation helps to develop it further.

The criterion includes almost 100 different sub criteria and evaluates the usability and understandability of several things in webservices, for example

  • navigation
  • icons and symbols
  • links
  • pictures and videos
  • text
  • search-function
  • forms
  • cookies, chats and pop-ups
  • signing in and logging in.

About the selkeastimeille.fi website

This website (www.selkeastimeille.fi) is designed to be an example of both technically and cognitively accessible websites. The experiences and findings from the first year of the project were put in use when these websites were designed and developed. They are being developed until the end of the project based on user testing and feedback.

On the website you will find information about cognitive accessibility, tips and instructions how to make more accessible webservices and instructions on how to organize user testing for people with cognitive impairments.

About the organizations behind the project

Read more about Kehitysvammatuki 57 from this link (opens in a new window).

Read more about Kehitysvammaliitto from this link (opens in a new window).

Want to know more? Send us e-mail.

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