In a study conducted by Webaim, 98.1% of sites had a detectable accessibility issue. This poses a profound challenge to the 1 billion users across the world who have a disability. This indicates that developers either are not aware of how to make the sites accessible or aware of how critical it is to make the sites usable by all users. This problem is further compounded by the lack of available resources that can educate students and future developers in making their software accessible. To address current limitations/challenges, we have developed an all-in-one immersive learning experience known as the Accessibility Learning Labs (ALL). These modules are carefully crafted to provide students a better understanding of various accessibility topics and increase awareness. They incorporate the best of all learning methods, from case studies to hands-on activities and quizzes. In this paper, we focus specifically on the cognitive module developed under the Accessibility Learning Labs. This module strives to educate students on the importance of building accessible software for users with cognitive disabilities. We discuss the pedagogical approach used to craft the components of the cognitive module and the design rationale behind the experiential activity. We investigate how the order of the reading and experiential activity affect the students' understanding of the material. To do this, we perform a study involving 28 students in 2 computer science-related courses. Our findings include: (I) The accessibility improvements made in the lab have a positive impact on the students' performance when compared to the inaccessible version (II) When the reading material is presented after the experiential activity, students have a better understanding of the cognitive accessibility principles.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Accessible Web sites for people with disabilities; Web site development--Study and teaching; Students with disabilities--Services for; Assistive computer technology--Design--Study and teaching

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Software Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Software Engineering (GCCIS)


Daniel Krutz

Advisor/Committee Member

Samuel Malachowsky

Advisor/Committee Member

J. Scott Hawker


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes