Companies pry open the web for people with intellectual disabilities

Companies are looking to expand online accommodations. Many of their websites are accessible to people with visual and hearing impairments, and now some businesses are addressing accessibility for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities—often referred to as ID/DD—as well as learning disabilities.

Because of the varying needs of people with these disabilities, there is no universal solution to the issues they encounter online. Negative experiences include getting timed out of a webpage for taking longer than most people to finish a form and confronting text that is too complicated linguistically.

Communication capabilities range widely among people with ID/DD, who include those with cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. Some find it difficult to speak but are able to read, while many can communicate easily in person but struggle to read, according to Margaret Nygren, the executive director and chief exe