Websites for users with a learning disability

Does anyone know any good examples of websites designed mainly for users with a learning disability?

Not off hand I don’t, but if you’re looking for guidance or are interested in designing a site for people with learning disabilities, some general rules of thumb might help. Learning difficulties is a broad term; more of a politically correct way of giving a name to a very broad range of conditions; rather than a meaningful definition of something.

So, you can’t really turn to “websites that are aimed at a learning difficulty” but rather, something more specific and may even lead you to sites that aren’t aimed at a learning difficulty but something like an age group.

For example I have a family member who has a learning difficulty; he is intellectually about 8 years old and he finds websites targeted at children within that age range to be very easy to use and struggles with websites aimed at an older audience. He reads the kind of content a child would read more digestible than what a late teen/early twenties would read; in fact while he could read most of the words he wouldn’t understand all of the content and would get bored a lot faster than an adult would.

So if I were designing a site that was aimed at people with a learning difficulty that has attributes similar to his; whereby they were mentally a child; I would for example check sites aimed at children; for example the CBBC websites; he spends quite a bit of time on those and uses them pretty well. Maybe take design principals from websites that are aimed at that age group.

What you should do will depend very much on the target audience; as it does with any design; and understanding the characteristics of a specific disability or learning difficulty and how they apply to a more general audience is really important.

General things such as these may help:

  1. Be clear, short and simple in any text
  2. Make good use of easy to understand, simple illustrations and info-graphics
  3. Make sure your UI and navigation is simple
  4. Make use of icons and graphics within your UI that will be easy to understand for your audience
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Richard’s points above are great. This is also the area where people start mentioning Flash. Certain kinds of animation can make the relationships between objects more obvious, such as something new appearing when you click on something else: a short animation with a little bit of movement can make it clear that the new thing came because of the click. Feedback from user actions are made a little bit more obvious, and often contain sound too (usually a no-no on web sites).
For finding a website specifically directed to those with learning disabilities, you will want to look at e-learning communities. (that’s just some example, I’m not in the e-learning community so I dunno who’s who)

Thanks for the advice, the project is to refresh a local government website that provides services for people with learning disabilities so already contains most of the basic premises as outlined by Richard. There just seems to be a lack of best practice advice specifically aimed at developing sites for people with learning disabilities and even fewer examples of websites.

True. The web community ought to step up. …which may happen.

Most of the resources I can think of are more geared towards general accessibility, which only glances at specifically the learning disabled.

Today is first day & I got a very valuable points.
I totally agree with “FizixRichard” I learn a few things from Richard, really appreciated.
I would like to add one thing that is a current trend of designing & that is really effective, visitors or people is tend to make the mind for a specific image for the product or services and that is really helpful to send the clear message what we are presenting.


well I believe it’s really great if there are software that helps those with learning disabilities. It will do a lot of help. I have read some articles about braille system keyboards especially made for blinds. … and I hope there’s lot more out there… :slight_smile: