Intellectual Access Guidelines
Use plain English
To communicate clearly and effectively online you need to think about using words your audience understands (17). It is recommended that the language you use is simple and precise to minimize ambiguity (14). If it is crucial that you use a technical term, define it in a way the audience will understand by using familiar words with clear meanings (pdf). People living with ASD interpret text content, therefore abbreviations, acronyms and jargon should not be used (14).
Be brief, clear and concise
Use simple and minimal sentences (14) and provide only relevant information (17). Ensure your text is clear and concise in stating your purpose (17) and information is ordered most important to least (5). Be direct by using present tense and active voice in text (17). Use clear headings and titles and provide a clear structure to text content (14).
The site should be set up to prevent accidental errors, by asking secondary questions such as “are you sure?”, “yes”, or “no”. When this is not possible there should be ways to recover from errors by always having an undo or revert button (4).
Provide opportunities for better understanding
Accomodate for multiple understandings of information by using concrete images, icons and examples where appropriate, to communicate information (15). Avoid using images that portray optical illusions, ambiguity or move away from logic as this can be difficult to comprehend for people living with ASD (4).
Tasks should be broken down into smaller steps and subtasks, making it easier to follow as well as more effectively engaging the user. This should also be made interactive towards their interests and preferences to promote engagement and participation (5).