I was doing some research for a project and ran across this bit on the W3C website titled How People with Disabilities Use the Web. I love this section as it goes into something I’m really a fan of in user stories as they not only crisply get across a set of requirements, it personalizes a cold sterile set of requirements that seem fairly arbitrary to a warm and living set of requirements that make sense.
The other great thing about this set of user stories is that it challenges people to think about a different set of disabilities than they would normally thing about. For example, most people immediately think of screen readers when thinking about accessibility but forget about things like color blindness, epilepsy, hand tremors, cognitive disorders, short term memory, dyslexia and the like.
For example, as a confession here, I’m ADHD and mildly dyslexic. Captcha’s drive me up a WALL!!!! It takes me a long time to work through them especially if they have a series lower case of Os and Es. I have other friends who are much more dyslexic than I am and I have no idea how they sign up for anything on today’s web…
But the really hard one for me is when there’s a lot of text with no paragraph breaks or other things to break up the text. It’s really tough to get through and I have to work through it sometimes 10-15 times to get it. If it’s important, I’ll copy it into a text editor and break up the text and then read it.
Here’s the list of user stories that they have put together to date:
- Mr. Lee, Online shopper with color blindness
- Mr. Jones, Reporter with repetitive stress injury
- Ms. Martinez, Online student who is hard of hearing
- Ms. Laitinen, Accountant with blindness
- Ms. Olsen, Classroom student with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia
- Mr. Yunus, Retiree with low vision, hand tremor, and mild short-term memory loss
- Mr. Sands, Supermarket assistant with Down syndrome
- Ms. Kaseem, Teenager with deaf-blindness
I really like this list and am hoping that it continues to grow and refine over time.