Request accessible format
If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.
Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.
Cognitive disabilities are the most common type of disability.
They can arise as a result of:
- Congenital conditions that a person is born with
- Conditions that develop as we age
- Traumatic brain injury, infection or chemical imbalances
Cognitive disabilities can impact people in a variety of ways:
|Limited comprehension||Autism, Down syndrome|
|Low tolerance for information overload||Anxiety disorder|
|Limited problem-solving and trouble with math||Dyscalculia|
|Short- or long-term memory loss||Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease|
|Difficulty focusing||Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder|
|Inability to speak||Brain damage|
|Seizures||Photosensitivity, motion sensitivity|
Motor or physical
Motor or physical disabilities include the temporary inability to use a body part due to injury or having little or no control of your limbs.
Motor disabilities can impact people in various ways:
|Tremors or limited or no body control||Parkinson’s disease, paralysis, missing limb|
|Muscle weakness or atrophy||Multiple sclerosis|
|Injury||Broken, strained or sprained body part|
|Inability to speak||Accident, birth defect|
Most web content is in a visual or text format, so people with hearing disabilities can access it.
When creating multimedia content, content creators need to consider alternatives such as:
- Transcripts that include audio descriptions (for example, sounds such as applause and music)
Vision disabilities include impairments ranging from mild to full blindness.
These conditions might:
- Affect people from birth
- Develop over time
- Be the result of an accident
People who experience vision impairment may use one or more assistive technologies, including:
- Screen readers
- Voice assistants
Visual disabilities can impact people in a variety of ways:
|Inability to see at all||Blindness|
|Inability to see small text or content that animates||Low vision|
|Inability to see certain colors or distinguish between them||Color blindness|
Content accessibility guidelines
Always include alternative text descriptions and captions for images.
Descriptions and captions:
- Serve as an image replacement for people who cannot see an image
- Help people who use assistive technology access web content
- Help with search engine optimization
Audio and video
For audio and video content, include one or more of these alternatives:
- Optional audio play
Also, give users the ability to pause, stop or hide motion and sound.
When we follow these guidelines, we:
- Improve the user experience for people with visual, hearing or cognitive disabilities
- Follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines with our multimedia
When writing copy:
- Break up text into shorter paragraphs instead of writing a big block of text.
- Use headline styles to help readers understand how we've organized the content.
|H1 page title||
Content accessibility guidelines
Avoid embedding text into a static image.
Embedded text can cause a variety of problems:
|People cannot read the text.||Color contrast between the text and the image can cause problems.|
|Assistive technologies cannot read it.||People who use assistive technologies cannot access the content.|
|We do not meet accessibility requirements.||Type resizing and wrapping cause problems.|
If you must put text over an image
Save the text as a separate item over the image so accessibility devices can access it.
Expandable, or accordion, content is great for screen readers. It gives website visitors clear direction.
When creating a heading:
- Keep the text clear, descriptive and as concise as possible. A page title should be 70 characters or less.
- Write in sentence case.
- Write short lines of copy rather than complete sentences.
- Avoid punctuation.
- Use just one H1 heading on each page, for the title.
- Nest H2 and H3 headings in numerical order.
Images, maps and data visualization
|Use images and icons that enhance the meaning of the content around it.||Unneeded images can confuse website visitors. This is especially true for people who who have a cognitive disability.|
|Make content interactive where possible.||Tableau and ArcGIS are two interactive tools.|
|Choose photographs that include many kinds of people.||
|Avoid using infographics.||
Infographics are challenging for people with
If you must include an infographic, follow these guidelines:
|Make links easy to identify||Make hyperlinked content easy to see. This helps people with who have color blindness or color contrast challenges. Also make sure that regular text does not look like a link.|
|Use clear wording for links||
Use clear, strong terms when you write wording for a link. Website visitors want to know what will happen when they click a certain link.
When pointing a visitor to more information, use the wording "About [topic]."
|Put links below a paragraph||Do not embed important links in paragraphs. This makes the click target smaller and harder to click or tap. Text wrapping can also be a problem on mobile devices.|
|Warn users before linking off site||
Never link visitors off our site without warning, especially in the site navigation. Always link to a page to introduce the off-site content first.
For example, create a page to give a brief overview about utility billing and link from there.
When listing three or more items:
- Use bullet points instead of a long sentence to make content easier to scan.
- Use a numbered list to communicate step-by-step instructions.
- Begin with the most important information and follow with supporting details. List the details in order of importance to the website visitor.
Use a gateway page to preface a PDF or other document content.
This gives site visitors:
- A clear understanding of what the document contains before they open it.
- The option to read the document summary instead of the full version.
- A better user experience by getting rid of broken links to documents.
Use either a hyphen (-) or a pipe (|) in page title tags to separate keywords and phrases. These characters increase usability by making the title more readable. Avoid using commas or underscores in title tags.
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