Cognitive accessibility - Part 1: General guidelines (ISO 21801-1:2020)

This document presents guidelines for the design and development of cognitively accessible systems, including products and services and built environments.
This document is relevant to mainstream systems as well as those designed specifically for people with disability.
Within the broad field of accessibility, this document is limited to guidance related to cognitive accessibility.
NOTE 1 It acknowledges, however, that diverse sensory perceptions can impact cognitive accessibility.
NOTE 2 While the following guidance in this document can benefit all users, it is included here because failure to follow it could lead to barriers that would prevent some potential users from being able to use the system at all.
This document is relevant to all types of systems. However, some particular recommendations can only be followed for some types of systems:
— Some of the guidance is relevant to a fixed system (e.g. a non-computerized consumer product or a user manual);
— Some of the guidance applies to systems containing some level of computer-based processing (e.g. a microwave oven or an ICT-system);
— Some of the guidance applies to systems that use advanced computer processing that supports individualization (e.g. an application in a smart phone);
— Some guidance applies to combinations of the above.

Kognitive Zugänglichkeit - Teil 1: Allgemeiner Leitfaden (ISO 21801-1:2020)

Dieses Dokument enthält Leitfäden für die Gestaltung und Entwicklung von kognitiv zugänglichen Systemen, einschließlich Produkten, Dienstleistungen und der gebauten Umgebung.
Dieses Dokument ist für gängige Systemlösungen als auch für solche, die speziell für Menschen mit einer Behinderung entwickelt wurden, von Bedeutung.
Innerhalb des weiten Feldes der Barrierefreiheit ist dieses Dokument auf Anleitungen zur kognitiven Zugänglichkeit beschränkt.
ANMERKUNG 1 Es erkennt jedoch an, dass sich verschiedene Sinneswahrnehmungen auf die kognitive Zugänglichkeit auswirken können.
ANMERKUNG 2 Die folgenden Anleitungen in diesem Dokument können zwar für alle Benutzer von Nutzen sein, sie sind jedoch hier aufgeführt, weil ihre Nichtbeachtung zu Barrieren führen könnte, die einige potentielle Benutzer daran hindern würden, das System überhaupt zu nutzen.
Dieses Dokument ist für alle Systemarten von Bedeutung. Einige bestimmte Empfehlungen können jedoch nur für einige Systemarten berücksichtigt werden:
- einige Anleitungen sind für feste Systeme von Bedeutung (z. B. ein nicht computergestütztes Verbraucherprodukt oder eine Bedienungsanleitung);
- einige Anleitungen gelten für Systeme mit einem bestimmten Maß an computergestützter Verarbeitung [z. B. eine Mikrowelle oder eine Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie (IKT)];
- einige Anleitungen gelten für Systeme mit fortschrittlicher Computerverarbeitung, die die Individualisierung unterstützt (z. B. eine Smartphone-Anwendung);
- einige Anleitungen gelten für Kombinationen des vorstehend Genannten.

Accessibilité cognitive - Partie 1: Lignes directrices générales (ISO 21801-1:2020)

Kognitivna dostopnost - 1. del: Splošne smernice (ISO 21801-1:2020)

General Information

Status
Published
Current Stage
6060 - Definitive text made available (DAV) - Publishing
Due Date
14-Apr-2021
Completion Date
14-Apr-2021

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SLOVENSKI STANDARD
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
01-julij-2021
Kognitivna dostopnost - 1. del: Splošne smernice (ISO 21801-1:2020)
Cognitive accessibility - Part 1: General guidelines (ISO 21801-1:2020)
Kognitive Zugänglichkeit - Teil 1: Allgemeiner Leitfaden (ISO 21801 1:2020)

Accessibilité cognitive - Partie 1: Lignes directrices générales (ISO 21801-1:2020)

Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: EN ISO 21801-1:2021
ICS:
11.180.01 Pripomočki za Aids for disabled and
onesposobljene in handicapped persons in
hendikepirane osebe na general
splošno
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021 en,fr,de

2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
EN ISO 21801-1
EUROPEAN STANDARD
NORME EUROPÉENNE
April 2021
EUROPÄISCHE NORM
ICS 11.180.01
English Version
Cognitive accessibility - Part 1: General guidelines (ISO
21801-1:2020)

Accessibilité cognitive - Partie 1: Lignes directrices Kognitive Zugänglichkeit - Teil 1: Allgemeiner

générales (ISO 21801-1:2020) Leitfaden (ISO 21801 1:2020)
This European Standard was approved by CEN on 5 April 2021.

CEN members are bound to comply with the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations which stipulate the conditions for giving this

European Standard the status of a national standard without any alteration. Up-to-date lists and bibliographical references

concerning such national standards may be obtained on application to the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre or to any CEN

member.

This European Standard exists in three official versions (English, French, German). A version in any other language made by

translation under the responsibility of a CEN member into its own language and notified to the CEN-CENELEC Management

Centre has the same status as the official versions.

CEN members are the national standards bodies of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,

Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway,

Poland, Portugal, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and

United Kingdom.
EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR STANDARDIZATION
COMITÉ EUROPÉEN DE NORMALISATION
EUROPÄISCHES KOMITEE FÜR NORMUNG
CEN-CENELEC Management Centre: Rue de la Science 23, B-1040 Brussels

© 2021 CEN All rights of exploitation in any form and by any means reserved Ref. No. EN ISO 21801-1:2021 E

worldwide for CEN national Members.
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
EN ISO 21801-1:2021 (E)
Contents Page

European foreword ....................................................................................................................................................... 3

---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
EN ISO 21801-1:2021 (E)
European foreword

The text of ISO 21801-1:2020 has been prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 173 "Assistive

products” of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and has been taken over as

EN ISO 21801-1:2021 by Technical Committee CEN/TC 293 “Assistive products and accessibility” the

secretariat of which is held by SIS.

This European Standard shall be given the status of a national standard, either by publication of an

identical text or by endorsement, at the latest by October 2021, and conflicting national standards shall

be withdrawn at the latest by October 2021.

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. CEN shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

According to the CEN-CENELEC Internal Regulations, the national standards organizations of the

following countries are bound to implement this European Standard: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria,

Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland,

Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of

North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the

United Kingdom.
Endorsement notice

The text of ISO 21801-1:2020 has been approved by CEN as EN ISO 21801-1:2021 without any

modification.
---------------------- Page: 5 ----------------------
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
---------------------- Page: 6 ----------------------
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 21801-1
First edition
2020-01
Cognitive accessibility —
Part 1:
General guidelines
Accessibilité cognitive —
Partie 1: Lignes directrices générales
Reference number
ISO 21801-1:2020(E)
ISO 2020
---------------------- Page: 7 ----------------------
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
ISO 21801-1:2020(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2020

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting

on the internet or an intranet, without prior written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address

below or ISO’s member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
CP 401 • Ch. de Blandonnet 8
CH-1214 Vernier, Geneva
Phone: +41 22 749 01 11
Fax: +41 22 749 09 47
Email: copyright@iso.org
Website: www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2020 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 8 ----------------------
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
ISO 21801-1:2020(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................vi

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Implementing the recommendations ............................................................................................................................................. 2

5 Motivation and focus ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 3

5.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.2 Means of motivation ........................................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.2.1 Recruiting interest .......................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.2.2 Individual options ........................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.2.3 Autonomous use ............................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.2.4 Usefulness and relevance ......................................................................................................................................... 4

5.2.5 Level of abstraction ....................................................................................................................................................... 4

5.2.6 Focus on the desired outcome.............................................................................................................................. 4

5.2.7 Challenge by varying demands and resources ....................................................................................... 4

5.2.8 Self-regulation, self-assessment and coping ............................................................................................ 4

5.2.9 Unintentional triggers of inappropriate reactions ............................................................................. 5

5.2.10 Differences in coping abilities .............................................................................................................................. 5

5.2.11 Self-determination and confidence.................................................................................................................. 5

5.2.12 Threats and trust ............................................................................................................................................................. 5

5.2.13 Accessibility and safety .............................................................................................................................................. 5

5.3 Focus, attention and feedback ................................................................................................................................................... 5

5.3.1 Object in focus .................................................................................................................................................................... 5

5.3.2 Shifts in focus ...................................................................................................................................................................... 6

5.3.3 Inadvertent changes of focus or division of attention ..................................................................... 6

5.3.4 Feedback ................................................................................................................................................................................. 6

6 Representation and understanding ................................................................................................................................................. 7

6.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7

6.2 Multiple means of representation and understanding ......................................................................................... 7

6.2.1 Simplify the language — Dealing with words ........................................................................................ 7

6.2.2 Simplify the language — Dealing with symbols ................................................................................... 7

6.2.3 Simplify the message structure ........................................................................................................................... 8

6.2.4 Understanding across language barriers .................................................................................................... 8

6.2.5 Translation processes .................................................................................................................................................. 8

6.2.6 Options for finding information .......................................................................................................................... 8

6.2.7 Equal opportunities for comprehension ..................................................................................................... 8

6.3 Spatial orientation and understanding of values and sizes .............................................................................. 9

6.3.1 Entities and sizes ............................................................................................................................................................. 9

6.3.2 Scales and relative values ......................................................................................................................................10

6.3.3 Position in space ...........................................................................................................................................................10

6.4 Simple, understandable and logical design .................................................................................................................10

6.4.1 Logical and consistent design ............................................................................................................................10

6.4.2 Background knowledge ..........................................................................................................................................10

6.4.3 Transfer and generalization ................................................................................................................................10

6.4.4 Understanding underlying concepts and ideas ..................................................................................10

6.4.5 Complexity .........................................................................................................................................................................11

7 Action ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................11

7.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................11

7.2 Means of expression ........................................................................................................................................................................11

7.2.1 Customizable media for information, expression and communication.........................11

7.3 Organization, planning and time management ........................................................................................................12

© ISO 2020 – All rights reserved iii
---------------------- Page: 9 ----------------------
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
ISO 21801-1:2020(E)

7.3.1 Goal-setting .......................................................................................................................................................................12

7.3.2 Decision-making ...........................................................................................................................................................12

7.3.3 Strategic activities ........................................................................................................................................................12

7.3.4 Options for strategic activities ..........................................................................................................................13

7.3.5 Time constraints ...........................................................................................................................................................13

7.3.6 Time awareness .............................................................................................................................................................13

7.3.7 Options for orientation to time ........................................................................................................................13

7.3.8 Communication of time and time management ................................................................................13

7.3.9 Adapting time demands ..........................................................................................................................................14

7.4 Flexibility and equal opportunities ....................................................................................................................................14

7.4.1 Equality .................................................................................................................................................................................14

7.4.2 Access to systems and interoperability .....................................................................................................14

7.4.3 Alternative and multiple means of user interaction ......................................................................15

7.4.4 Alternatives and decisions ...................................................................................................................................15

7.4.5 Default configuration and adjustable parameters ...........................................................................15

7.4.6 Individualized access and reuse of user profiles ..............................................................................15

7.4.7 Access to the intended outcome of the system ...................................................................................16

7.5 Support for completion of tasks ............................................................................................................................................16

7.5.1 Sustained attention and concentration .....................................................................................................16

7.5.2 Avoiding mistakes ........................................................................................................................................................16

7.5.3 Mistakes and errors ........................................................................................................................................... .........17

7.5.4 Correction of mistakes and errors .................................................................................................................17

7.5.5 Support functions ...................................................................... ...................................................................................17

7.5.6 Content-integrated contextual help..............................................................................................................17

Annex A (informative) Checklist for following the recommendations of this document ...........................18

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................22

iv © ISO 2020 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 10 ----------------------
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
ISO 21801-1:2020(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), see www .iso .org/

iso/ foreword .html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 173, Assistive products.

A list of all parts in the ISO 21801 series can be found on the ISO website.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/ members .html.
© ISO 2020 – All rights reserved v
---------------------- Page: 11 ----------------------
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
ISO 21801-1:2020(E)
Introduction

Cognitive impairment can affect anyone. It can be temporary or permanent. Cognitive impairment

might affect a person’s ability to

— perceive information including visual, auditory and haptic (e.g. reduced visual perception which

can cause problems recognizing words, pictures or other visual input),

— sustain, direct and divide attention (e.g. reduced ability to filter unwanted stimuli, such as light or

sound, or difficulties multi-tasking),

— register and store information and retrieve it as needed, including: store and maintain new episodes,

knowledge and skills, and retrieve and maintain former episodes, knowledge and skills,

— communicate, including understand and express oneself both verbally and non-verbally,

— orientate oneself, and navigate spatially and topographically,

— execute activities, including solve problems; organize; plan; hold on to a plan or strategy and change

strategy when appropriate; initiate, carry out, and terminate activities appropriately,

— think and reason in an abstract manner (e.g. understand generalizations and associations and

causal connections), or

— understand and manage numbers and time (e.g. calculate or comprehend concepts of money, size, or

lapses of time).

Activity limitations and participation restrictions for people with cognitive impairment can be reduced

significantly through the design of systems and the built environment. The adoption of Universal Design

(UD) approaches in standards and policies is key to facilitate access to mainstream systems. Strategies

and principles consistent with the UD approach strive to promote features in systems and the built

environment that are functional and comfortable for everyone.

Mainstream systems are often considered to be more affordable and socially acceptable than

assistive products. Unlimited access to mainstream technologies and systems, including information

technologies, contributes to the inclusion of people with the widest range of cognitive needs, in the

widest range of life situations. Knowledge about the widest range of cognitive needs and how activities

and environmental factors can be modified to increase participation is extensive but not easy to

comprehend and transfer to the design and delivery of systems. Designers and manufacturers of

mainstream systems who are aware of those needs can significantly contribute to accessible and usable

systems.

Although named cognitive ‘accessibility’, this document also adopts the concept of ‘usability’ to ensure

that design principles are based on the unique experiences of users rather than on assumptions of

human abilities.

This document is structured around three concepts, each presenting a set of guidelines:

— Motivation and focus;
— Representation and understanding;
— Action.

This document is a general guideline on cognitive accessibility for all systems. In a specific domain

or in a specific context there, can be more detailed standards and guidelines addressing cognitive

accessibility, see References [5] and [6].

It is important to engage people with cognitive impairments and their significant others, in the

development of mainstream and assistive products for people with cognitive impairments.

vi © ISO 2020 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 12 ----------------------
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 21801-1:2020(E)
Cognitive accessibility —
Part 1:
General guidelines
1 Scope

This document presents guidelines for the design and development of cognitively accessible systems,

including products and services and built environments.

This document is relevant to mainstream systems as well as those designed specifically for people with

disability.

Within the broad field of accessibility, this document is limited to guidance related to cognitive

accessibility.

NOTE 1 It acknowledges, however, that diverse sensory perceptions can impact cognitive accessibility.

NOTE 2 While the following guidance in this document can benefit all users, it is included here because failure

to follow it could lead to barriers that would prevent some potential users from being able to use the system at all.

This document is relevant to all types of systems. However, some particular recommendations can only

be followed for some types of systems:

— Some of the guidance is relevant to a fixed system (e.g. a non-computerized consumer product or a

user manual);

— Some of the guidance applies to systems containing some level of computer-based processing (e.g. a

microwave oven or an ICT-system);

— Some of the guidance applies to systems that use advanced computer processing that supports

individualization (e.g. an application in a smart phone);
— Some guidance applies to combinations of the above.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org/
© ISO 2020 – All rights reserved 1
---------------------- Page: 13 ----------------------
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
ISO 21801-1:2020(E)
3.1
accessibility

extent to which products, systems (3.5), services, environments and facilities can be used by people

from a population with the widest range of user needs, characteristics and capabilities to achieve

identified goals in identified contexts of use

Note 1 to entry: Context of use includes direct use or use supported by assistive technologies.

[SOURCE: ISO 9241-112:2017, 3.15]
3.2
cognition

mental actions or processes of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience,

and the senses

Note 1 to entry: Specific cognitive functions include; perception, attention, memory, linguistic functions (verbal,

non-verbal), reasoning, planning, problem solving, decision making, reading and calculating. Cognition interacts

with global mental functions (e.g. consciousness, energy, motivation) and affective functions (e.g. emotion, mood

and self-regulation).
3.3
cognitive accessibility

extent to which systems (3.5) can be used by people from a population with the widest range of user

needs, cognitive characteristics and capabilities to achieve identified goals in identified contexts of use

3.4
haptic

relating to the sense of touch, in particular relating to the perception and manipulation of objects using

the senses of touch and proprioception

Note 1 to entry: While there is no difference between haptic and tactile in most dictionary definitions, in the

area of haptics, researchers and developers use haptic to include all haptic sensations, while tactile is limited to

mechanical stimulation of the skin.
3.5
system

product, service, or built environment or any combination of them with which the user (3.7) interacts

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC Guide 71:2014, 2.1]
3.6
time management

mental functions of ordering events in chronological sequence, allocating amounts of time to events

and activities
Note 1 to entry: This definition is taken from Reference [9].
3.7
user
individual who accesses or interacts with a system (3.5)
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC Guide 71:2014, 2.2]
3.8
user profile

set of user requirements stored in a way that it can be re-used by a system (3.5)

4 Implementing the recommendations
In order to implement the recommendations in this document,

a) the ability to follow each recommendation in the document shall be determined;

2 © ISO 2020 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 14 ----------------------
SIST EN ISO 21801-1:2021
ISO 21801-1:2020(E)

b) any recommendation determined not being able to be followed shall be justified;

c) any recommendation being able to be followed but that is not followed shall be justified.

This implementation can be evaluated by self-assessment, or by an
...

SLOVENSKI STANDARD
oSIST prEN ISO 21801-1:2021
01-marec-2021
Kognitivna dostopnost - 1. del: Splošne smernice (ISO 21801-1:2020)
Cognitive accessibility - Part 1: General guidelines (ISO 21801-1:2020)
Kognitive Zugänglichkeit - Teil 1: Allgemeiner Leitfaden (ISO 21801 1:2020)

Accessibilité cognitive - Partie 1: Lignes directrices générales (ISO 21801-1:2020)

Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: prEN ISO 21801-1
ICS:
11.180.01 Pripomočki za Aids for disabled and
onesposobljene in handicapped persons in
hendikepirane osebe na general
splošno
oSIST prEN ISO 21801-1:2021 en,fr,de

2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
oSIST prEN ISO 21801-1:2021
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
oSIST prEN ISO 21801-1:2021
INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 21801-1
First edition
2020-01
Cognitive accessibility —
Part 1:
General guidelines
Accessibilité cognitive —
Partie 1: Lignes directrices générales
Reference number
ISO 21801-1:2020(E)
ISO 2020
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
oSIST prEN ISO 21801-1:2021
ISO 21801-1:2020(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2020

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting

on the internet or an intranet, without prior written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address

below or ISO’s member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
CP 401 • Ch. de Blandonnet 8
CH-1214 Vernier, Geneva
Phone: +41 22 749 01 11
Fax: +41 22 749 09 47
Email: copyright@iso.org
Website: www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2020 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
oSIST prEN ISO 21801-1:2021
ISO 21801-1:2020(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................vi

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Implementing the recommendations ............................................................................................................................................. 2

5 Motivation and focus ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 3

5.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.2 Means of motivation ........................................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.2.1 Recruiting interest .......................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.2.2 Individual options ........................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.2.3 Autonomous use ............................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.2.4 Usefulness and relevance ......................................................................................................................................... 4

5.2.5 Level of abstraction ....................................................................................................................................................... 4

5.2.6 Focus on the desired outcome.............................................................................................................................. 4

5.2.7 Challenge by varying demands and resources ....................................................................................... 4

5.2.8 Self-regulation, self-assessment and coping ............................................................................................ 4

5.2.9 Unintentional triggers of inappropriate reactions ............................................................................. 5

5.2.10 Differences in coping abilities .............................................................................................................................. 5

5.2.11 Self-determination and confidence.................................................................................................................. 5

5.2.12 Threats and trust ............................................................................................................................................................. 5

5.2.13 Accessibility and safety .............................................................................................................................................. 5

5.3 Focus, attention and feedback ................................................................................................................................................... 5

5.3.1 Object in focus .................................................................................................................................................................... 5

5.3.2 Shifts in focus ...................................................................................................................................................................... 6

5.3.3 Inadvertent changes of focus or division of attention ..................................................................... 6

5.3.4 Feedback ................................................................................................................................................................................. 6

6 Representation and understanding ................................................................................................................................................. 7

6.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7

6.2 Multiple means of representation and understanding ......................................................................................... 7

6.2.1 Simplify the language — Dealing with words ........................................................................................ 7

6.2.2 Simplify the language — Dealing with symbols ................................................................................... 7

6.2.3 Simplify the message structure ........................................................................................................................... 8

6.2.4 Understanding across language barriers .................................................................................................... 8

6.2.5 Translation processes .................................................................................................................................................. 8

6.2.6 Options for finding information .......................................................................................................................... 8

6.2.7 Equal opportunities for comprehension ..................................................................................................... 8

6.3 Spatial orientation and understanding of values and sizes .............................................................................. 9

6.3.1 Entities and sizes ............................................................................................................................................................. 9

6.3.2 Scales and relative values ......................................................................................................................................10

6.3.3 Position in space ...........................................................................................................................................................10

6.4 Simple, understandable and logical design .................................................................................................................10

6.4.1 Logical and consistent design ............................................................................................................................10

6.4.2 Background knowledge ..........................................................................................................................................10

6.4.3 Transfer and generalization ................................................................................................................................10

6.4.4 Understanding underlying concepts and ideas ..................................................................................10

6.4.5 Complexity .........................................................................................................................................................................11

7 Action ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................11

7.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................11

7.2 Means of expression ........................................................................................................................................................................11

7.2.1 Customizable media for information, expression and communication.........................11

7.3 Organization, planning and time management ........................................................................................................12

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7.3.1 Goal-setting .......................................................................................................................................................................12

7.3.2 Decision-making ...........................................................................................................................................................12

7.3.3 Strategic activities ........................................................................................................................................................12

7.3.4 Options for strategic activities ..........................................................................................................................13

7.3.5 Time constraints ...........................................................................................................................................................13

7.3.6 Time awareness .............................................................................................................................................................13

7.3.7 Options for orientation to time ........................................................................................................................13

7.3.8 Communication of time and time management ................................................................................13

7.3.9 Adapting time demands ..........................................................................................................................................14

7.4 Flexibility and equal opportunities ....................................................................................................................................14

7.4.1 Equality .................................................................................................................................................................................14

7.4.2 Access to systems and interoperability .....................................................................................................14

7.4.3 Alternative and multiple means of user interaction ......................................................................15

7.4.4 Alternatives and decisions ...................................................................................................................................15

7.4.5 Default configuration and adjustable parameters ...........................................................................15

7.4.6 Individualized access and reuse of user profiles ..............................................................................15

7.4.7 Access to the intended outcome of the system ...................................................................................16

7.5 Support for completion of tasks ............................................................................................................................................16

7.5.1 Sustained attention and concentration .....................................................................................................16

7.5.2 Avoiding mistakes ........................................................................................................................................................16

7.5.3 Mistakes and errors ........................................................................................................................................... .........17

7.5.4 Correction of mistakes and errors .................................................................................................................17

7.5.5 Support functions ...................................................................... ...................................................................................17

7.5.6 Content-integrated contextual help..............................................................................................................17

Annex A (informative) Checklist for following the recommendations of this document ...........................18

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................22

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Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), see www .iso .org/

iso/ foreword .html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 173, Assistive products.

A list of all parts in the ISO 21801 series can be found on the ISO website.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/ members .html.
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Introduction

Cognitive impairment can affect anyone. It can be temporary or permanent. Cognitive impairment

might affect a person’s ability to

— perceive information including visual, auditory and haptic (e.g. reduced visual perception which

can cause problems recognizing words, pictures or other visual input),

— sustain, direct and divide attention (e.g. reduced ability to filter unwanted stimuli, such as light or

sound, or difficulties multi-tasking),

— register and store information and retrieve it as needed, including: store and maintain new episodes,

knowledge and skills, and retrieve and maintain former episodes, knowledge and skills,

— communicate, including understand and express oneself both verbally and non-verbally,

— orientate oneself, and navigate spatially and topographically,

— execute activities, including solve problems; organize; plan; hold on to a plan or strategy and change

strategy when appropriate; initiate, carry out, and terminate activities appropriately,

— think and reason in an abstract manner (e.g. understand generalizations and associations and

causal connections), or

— understand and manage numbers and time (e.g. calculate or comprehend concepts of money, size, or

lapses of time).

Activity limitations and participation restrictions for people with cognitive impairment can be reduced

significantly through the design of systems and the built environment. The adoption of Universal Design

(UD) approaches in standards and policies is key to facilitate access to mainstream systems. Strategies

and principles consistent with the UD approach strive to promote features in systems and the built

environment that are functional and comfortable for everyone.

Mainstream systems are often considered to be more affordable and socially acceptable than

assistive products. Unlimited access to mainstream technologies and systems, including information

technologies, contributes to the inclusion of people with the widest range of cognitive needs, in the

widest range of life situations. Knowledge about the widest range of cognitive needs and how activities

and environmental factors can be modified to increase participation is extensive but not easy to

comprehend and transfer to the design and delivery of systems. Designers and manufacturers of

mainstream systems who are aware of those needs can significantly contribute to accessible and usable

systems.

Although named cognitive ‘accessibility’, this document also adopts the concept of ‘usability’ to ensure

that design principles are based on the unique experiences of users rather than on assumptions of

human abilities.

This document is structured around three concepts, each presenting a set of guidelines:

— Motivation and focus;
— Representation and understanding;
— Action.

This document is a general guideline on cognitive accessibility for all systems. In a specific domain

or in a specific context there, can be more detailed standards and guidelines addressing cognitive

accessibility, see References [5] and [6].

It is important to engage people with cognitive impairments and their significant others, in the

development of mainstream and assistive products for people with cognitive impairments.

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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 21801-1:2020(E)
Cognitive accessibility —
Part 1:
General guidelines
1 Scope

This document presents guidelines for the design and development of cognitively accessible systems,

including products and services and built environments.

This document is relevant to mainstream systems as well as those designed specifically for people with

disability.

Within the broad field of accessibility, this document is limited to guidance related to cognitive

accessibility.

NOTE 1 It acknowledges, however, that diverse sensory perceptions can impact cognitive accessibility.

NOTE 2 While the following guidance in this document can benefit all users, it is included here because failure

to follow it could lead to barriers that would prevent some potential users from being able to use the system at all.

This document is relevant to all types of systems. However, some particular recommendations can only

be followed for some types of systems:

— Some of the guidance is relevant to a fixed system (e.g. a non-computerized consumer product or a

user manual);

— Some of the guidance applies to systems containing some level of computer-based processing (e.g. a

microwave oven or an ICT-system);

— Some of the guidance applies to systems that use advanced computer processing that supports

individualization (e.g. an application in a smart phone);
— Some guidance applies to combinations of the above.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org/
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3.1
accessibility

extent to which products, systems (3.5), services, environments and facilities can be used by people

from a population with the widest range of user needs, characteristics and capabilities to achieve

identified goals in identified contexts of use

Note 1 to entry: Context of use includes direct use or use supported by assistive technologies.

[SOURCE: ISO 9241-112:2017, 3.15]
3.2
cognition

mental actions or processes of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience,

and the senses

Note 1 to entry: Specific cognitive functions include; perception, attention, memory, linguistic functions (verbal,

non-verbal), reasoning, planning, problem solving, decision making, reading and calculating. Cognition interacts

with global mental functions (e.g. consciousness, energy, motivation) and affective functions (e.g. emotion, mood

and self-regulation).
3.3
cognitive accessibility

extent to which systems (3.5) can be used by people from a population with the widest range of user

needs, cognitive characteristics and capabilities to achieve identified goals in identified contexts of use

3.4
haptic

relating to the sense of touch, in particular relating to the perception and manipulation of objects using

the senses of touch and proprioception

Note 1 to entry: While there is no difference between haptic and tactile in most dictionary definitions, in the

area of haptics, researchers and developers use haptic to include all haptic sensations, while tactile is limited to

mechanical stimulation of the skin.
3.5
system

product, service, or built environment or any combination of them with which the user (3.7) interacts

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC Guide 71:2014, 2.1]
3.6
time management

mental functions of ordering events in chronological sequence, allocating amounts of time to events

and activities
Note 1 to entry: This definition is taken from Reference [9].
3.7
user
individual who accesses or interacts with a system (3.5)
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC Guide 71:2014, 2.2]
3.8
user profile

set of user requirements stored in a way that it can be re-used by a system (3.5)

4 Implementing the recommendations
In order to implement the recommendations in this document,

a) the ability to follow each recommendation in the document shall be determined;

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b) any recommendation determined not being able to be followed shall be justified;

c) any recommendation being able to be followed but that is not followed shall be justified.

This implementation can be evaluated by self-assessment, or by an assessment carried out by

another party.

Annex A provides assistance in documenting the implementation of the recommendations in this

document.
5 Motivation and focus
5.1 General

People differ markedly in their means of engagement or motivation to learn or to perform a task. There

are a variety of factors that can influence individuals including neurology, culture, personal relevance,

subjectivity, and background knowledge. Some people are highly engaged by spontaneity and novelty

while others might feel disengaged or even frightened by those aspects, preferring a strict routine.

There is no single means of engagement that will be optimal for everyone, so providing multiple options

for engagement is essential.
5.2 Means of motivation
5.2.1 Recruiting interest

The system should provide options for recruiting interest. People differ significantly in what interests

them and this changes over time. A person’s interests might shift with age, the gaining of new insights

or activities, or changes in the environment.

NOTE 1 A way of recruiting interest and engagement is to highlight the usefulness and to demonstrate the

relevance of the system.

NOTE 2 It might be useful to find alternative ways of recruiting interest, since recruiting interest leads to

attention and attention leads to engagement.
NOTE 3 If the system does not interest people, it might not be used.
5.2.2 Individual options

The system should optimize individual options. Once a goal for a system has been determined, options

can be given on how to access and how to use the system. Options can be related to context, use, support,

or means of achieving the overall objective of the system.

NOTE 1 Optimizing options is not about presenting as many options as possible, it is about presenting a set of

meaningful and appropriate options.

NOTE 2 Options are a way of maximizing the chances of success. People are more likely to succeed in using the

system when there are meaningful options.
NOTE 3 See also ISO/IEC Guide 71:2014, 8.2.5.
5.2.3 Autonomous use

The system should support autonomous use. In situations of individual use or in cooperation between

individuals, means to provide autonomy for each individual is important.

NOTE 1 Some people might always need support from either humans or assistive technology to achieve the

desired outcome.

NOTE 2 If the use of the system is likely to involve cooperation, means for cooperation might be useful.

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5.2.4 Usefulness and relevance

The system should optimize usefulness and relevance. People find different qualities useful and

relevant. Usefulness draws on how relevant and valuable the system is for people.

NOTE Usefulness and relevance can be dependent on personal preferences, lifestyles, contexts, socio-

cultural aspects, age and ability.
5.2.5 Level of abstraction

The system should provide options for the level of abstraction. Any design uses some level of abstraction.

People might have difficulty with both high and low levels of abstraction.

EXAMPLE 1 People using digital maps and support for wayfinding can switch between satellite (real world)

presentations, map view and text view. The detail shown in both satellite and map view can be increased or

decreased by zooming in and out.

EXAMPLE 2 Orientation with the help of arrows pointing the direction at intervals is more abstract compared

with following a continuous painted line on the floor.
5.2.6 Focus on the desired outcome

The system should support sustained focus on the desired outcome. Over the course of any sustained

usage, there are many sources of interest and engagement that compete for attention and effort.

NOTE 1 Some people depend on support to
...

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