STS: Cognitive Disabilities and Accessibility

Digital technologies more and more allow adapting and personalizing content or the way to interact with content to increase legibility, readability, understandability and finally usability / user experience. The more our society gets digital, the bigger the potential for people with cognitive disabilities to benefit from this increased adaptability and for participation and inclusion. 

Cognitive Accessibility, after many years of lagging behind in the accessibility and inclusion movement, gets at focus. All domains as therapy, training, communication, education, job, leisure, culture, politics, … may benefit from a more flexible and adaptable design, development and use of digital content, systems and services. A remarkable progress has been made over the last years both in terms of guidelines/standards/techniques but also in terms of technical solutions and applications for supported and automated accessibility. People with Cognitive Disabilities can experience better inclusion when services and support are provided at and with the original digital content which adapts to personal requirements but allows interaction and communication with the same users and user groups and more inclusive participation in the same activities. 

And not to forget: Cognitive Accessibility considerably contributes in general to a better usability in our digital society.

This potential has been and still is just a promise, but the increasing number of initiatives in R&D, innovative service provision and other domains demand for increased exchange and cooperation.

This session invites to present and discuss innovative ideas, visions and projects for research, development and evaluation on topics related but not restricted to

  • Digital assistive technologies (software, apps, assistive technology) for Cognitive Accessibility
  • Guidelines, standards, techniques and tools for Cognitive Accessibility
  • Automatic or supported 
    • Adaptation (e.g. layout, structure)
    • Annotation (e.g. symbol, explanation, audio, video, animation)
    • Translation (e.g. plain/easy or personalized language spaces)
  • Cognitive accessibility of everyday technologies and eLearning environments
  • eLearning environments for learners with learning difficulties (accessible MOOCs, LMS, VLEs)
  • Participatory digital R&D
  • Participatory service design and implementation
  • Digital Empowerment and Self-determination
  • Digital support systems for people with dementia
  • Use of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality or Gaming elements in digital technologies for people with learning disabilities

The aim of this session is to bring together users, service providers, researchers, developers and other stakeholder who are engaged in the development and evaluation of digital technologies and e-learning environments to improve the conditions for the social participation of people with cognitive impairments and learning difficulties of all ages in all areas of life.


  • Susanne Dirks, TU Dortmund
  • Christian Bühler, TU Dortmund
  • Tomas Murillo-Moralez, Johannes Kepler University Linz
  • Klaus Miesenberger, Johannes Kepler University Linz

Information: sts13 at aaate2023 dot eu