Assumptions, Communication and Digital Accessibility

 a photo of a sign with Challenge Assumptions.

Assumptions, communication, and digital accessibility are closely intertwined, particularly in today’s digital age. How do assumptions impact the disability community, digital accessibility and communication?

A hand pointing to the words User Experience

User Needs

Designers and developers often make assumptions about the needs and abilities of users when creating digital platforms or content. These assumptions can lead to inaccessible designs that exclude certain groups, such as people with disabilities. For example, assuming that all users can see and interact with content in the same way may result in neglecting features like alternative text for images or keyboard navigation options, which are essential for individuals with visual impairments or motor disabilities.

A photo of the words, Never Assume

Impact on Communication

Inaccessible digital interfaces can hinder effective communication between users. For instance, if a website is not properly designed for screen readers, individuals who are blind or have low vision may struggle to access the information, leading to a breakdown in communication. Similarly, if assumptions are made about users’ familiarity with complex interfaces or technologies, it can create barriers for those who are less tech-savvy or have cognitive disabilities. 

Happy people showing their modern mobile phones against blue sky


Assumptions about users’ access to and proficiency with technology can also affect digital accessibility. For example, assuming that everyone has high-speed internet access may overlook the needs of users in areas with limited connectivity. Likewise, assuming that all users are comfortable using a mouse and keyboard may neglect those who rely on alternative input methods due to physical disabilities.

An image of Scales of JusticeLegal, Ethical

Making assumptions about digital accessibility can have legal and ethical implications. In many countries, there are laws and regulations mandating accessibility standards for digital content and platforms. Failure to comply with these standards due to assumptions about user needs or capabilities can result in discrimination lawsuits or reputational damage for organisations.

Emblems of people with disability and normal peo0le.Inclusive Design

To mitigate the impact of assumptions on digital accessibility and communication, it’s essential to adopt inclusive design practices. This involves involving diverse user groups in the design process, conducting usability testing with individuals of varying abilities, and prioritising accessibility features from the outset. 

Hand moving a blue pawn one step forward.


When designing digital content, challenge assumptions, and embrace inclusive design principles. Then and only then can digital platforms become more accessible and improve communication for all users.