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Cognitive Accessibility (CA)

RESNA Standards Committee on Cognitive Accessibility (CA)

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Future meetings are being planned now and the meeting information will be posted soon. Meetings are open to anyone; voting on documents requires membership.  Cognitive Accessibility is actively recruiting clinician/prescriber; policy expert, payer, or educator; and manufacturer/supplier to be represented on this committee.  If you are interested in participating, please contact one of the committee officers.



Stefan Carmien photo
Stephanie Schnorbus Stephens, Ph.D
Beneficial Designs


Stefan Carmien photo
Stefan Carmien


Morris Huang photo
Morris Huang
University of Colorado Denver

These standards affect people with cognitive impairment, their family members, their caregivers and educators, and the manufacturers of technology products they use in daily living. The standards are specifically designed to help people who have cognitive impairment from conditions such as: Alzheimer’s, attention disorder, brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, learning disability, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. People at different stages of development, such as children and those of us who are growing older, as well as those who have difficulty communicating or who speak different languages, will also benefit from universal design guidelines for cognitive technologies. Improved devices will significantly aid families and caretakers of individuals with cognitive impairment, primarily by giving people with cognitive impairment greater independence. Individuals with cognitive impairment, their family members, clinicians, educators, and related researchers are all encouraged to work with industry and government agencies (such as the U.S. Department of Education) in the committee’s work.

Work Program

ANSI/RESNA CA-1: Universal Criteria for Reporting the Cognitive Accessibility of Products and Technologies

This section of RESNA CA-1 specifies features, measurement methods, and documentation for reporting the universal design specifications that support inclusion of individuals with cognitive impairment.

NOTE RESNA CA-1, Section 1 does not apply to screens. Screens, including touchscreens will be addressed in a RESNA CA-1 dedicated section (Section 2) in the future.

This standard is an ease-of-use evaluation and reporting system for a wide array of personal devices such as:

  • Assistive technologies such as screen readers and communication devices
  • Consumer technologies such as cell phones, laptops, and digital music players
  • Internet resources such as email, social networking, and popular sites
  • Household appliances such as microwaves and smoke alarms.

This Committee is evaluating and addressing the need for requirements for the universal design of software, hardware, internet, household, communication, and entertainment products used by people with cognitive impairment. It is intended to increase access to a variety of products. The standard will not purport to address the needs of every possible user and recognizes that access will not be possible for all individuals. Designers shall use this guideline in conjunction with any existing standards and accompanying test methods for their products.

The standard includes the following sections:

  • Section 1: Universal Criteria for Reporting the Cognitive Accessibility of Products and Technologies – General

ISO Related Activities

ISO / TC 173 Assistive Products for Persons with Disability / WG 10 Assistive products for cognitive disabilities

ISO/TC 173/WG 10  – Work Program

ISO 21801-1:2020 General Guidelines on Cognitive Accessibility 

ISO 21802:2019 Assistive products—Guidelines on cognitive accessibility—Daily time management 

ISO WD ISO-TC173-WG10_N0268_MASTER-ISO_WD_21801-2_200912 Cognitive accessibility—Part 2: Reporting