Accessibility Ambassadors: Redesigning for Cognitive Ease

Alyssa Panetta has been designing and developing websites by hand since Y2K. She has worked for educational mathematics software companies and is currently a web designer/developer for the University Libraries, University at Albany.

After a diagnosis of brain cancer in 2020 and subsequent treatment, Alyssa started a website called dear talula, where she writes letters to her removed tumor, which is preserved in a tumor research bank.

Alyssa’s presentation will cover her personal story and how it influences her approach to website creation. She will cover questions such as: After all the WCAG standards are met, how accessible is your site for users with cognitive disabilities? How can you tell? What does that mean? And where would you start?

Here's her description:

"I'd been making websites for over 20 years, and I didn't understand what it was like to use the web with a cognitive disability until I developed one. After treatment to remove a slow-growing brain tumor, I had a hard time using most websites, including the ones I built! This real-world experience gave me a newfound perspective on accessibility, and I learned that there’s no better way to understand a user’s experience than living it. It also motivated me to learn new techniques that provide more accessible experiences for users with cognitive impairments and redesign parts of my sites with a focus on cognitive ease."

Redesigning for Cognitive Ease
Thursday, January 25, noon-1 p.m.

Registration for this session is required. Let us know if you are attending. By default, we enable auto-captioning in the webinar. Please let us know what additional accommodations we can provide. Two weeks notice (January 11) will help us to better fulfill requests. This session will be recorded, captioned, and shared with the Google Group.

About Accessibility Ambassadors

Accessibility Ambassadors is a group of University employees from across all campuses who are passionate about making U of M digital resources more accessible online. They bring different skills, strengths, and backgrounds, but all want to create an inclusive and accessible community at the U of M.

They host events to teach, advocate, and discuss digital accessibility topics and strive to be resources for the University community.

To learn about more accessibility-related events at the University of Minnesota, please visit Accessible U.

For more information about the Ambassadors, join the Google Group or send an email to: