Accessbility and Autism

Autism is a spectrum. Not everyone who is autistic prefers the same things. Many autistic people also have associated other conditions, like Dyslexia or Learning Difficulties that impact on their preferences. Many do not have other conditions. Other demographic factors can also impact people’s references, such as socio-economic factors, and familiarity with technology.

These differences can make it challenging to design for all autistic web users, and below is a general guide to assist in those challenges.

Page Design

Background images

Symmetry in design

Logical ordering

Logical sizing of elements

No auto-playing content/movement

No surprises

Page Layout

Design clear, clutter-free pages

Set page lengths appropriately to the page type & function

Clearly separate design elements & sections that do not belongtogether

Place important information on top of the page and above the fold

Use the size of design elements to communicate the importance of information that they carry

Avoid large images above the fold

For each page, provide a summary of the page & its purpose

Ensure the consistency of page layout using symmetry

Maintain a visual consistency of design elements within a single section of the page

Design consistent & simple navigation across the site

Ensure that users understand how to navigate carousels

Use sequential menus with fewer items to select

Use a sticky main menu


Avoid using lots of bright colours on the website

Allow users to customise the background & text colours


Choose a typeface for your website and use it consistently

Use at least 12pt font across the website

Choose a typeface for your website and use it consistently.

Allow users to customise the font type & size to suit their needs


Ensure sufficient spacing between paragraphs and between linesof text

Organise text into short paragraphs and use short lines

Do not interrupt the flow of text with images or other designelements

Avoid using bold text style for large amounts of text and in combination with other text styles

Bold the keywords to facilitate rapid scanning of text for important information

Non-textual formats

Consider providing information in video format

Use visuals with the text to facilitate understanding

Use icons to help users locate information faster


Use simple images that can be easily understood

Use meaningful, relatable images that add value & clarity to the information on the page

Limit the use of background images and decorative graphics

Use photographs of people only if depicted people are relevant to the information

Provide the ability to turn off decorative graphics & all images

Video and audio

Disable auto-play

Video Content

Provide captions for videos and transcripts for all video & audio content

Allow users to turn off captions

Provide text-based introductory information for videos on pages

Use video content when it adds value or increases clarity of textual information on the site


Disable auto-playing movement on pages.

Provide a pause mechanism

Avoid attention-attracting movement unless other methods of visual emphasis have failed

Disable auto-playing movement on pages.

Avoid using pop-ups, moving or animated design elements.

Avoid attention-attracting movement unless other methods of

visual emphasis have failed

Help pages

Provide help on the website in a range of formats


Use clear, unique labels & instructions for each field

Ensure reasonable timeouts

Provide immediate feedback on errors

Use of language

Use clear, precise language and avoid metaphors & ambiguous terms

Use of language

Avoid jargon, abbreviations, acronyms, idioms & colloquialisms


Allow users to customise the website & make customisation clearly available

Sharing content

Allow users to share content via e-mail & platforms that they use


Communicate your plans about changes on the website clearly & in advance