Interfaces between cognitive accessibility and technical communication

Organizers: Pia Karasjärvi (University of Vaasa) & Jenni Virtaluoto (University of Jyväskylä)

As a result of the Digital Services Act, there has been a growing interest in accessibility in Finland. Cognitive accessibility encompasses all levels of engagement with digital services: technical performance, usability, and understandability (Kervinen, 2021). As most web content is predominantly textual (Kalender et al., 2018), Easy Language is a crucial part of cognitive accessibility.

In the 2022 VAKKI symposium, we arranged a workshop focused on the users of Easy Language. In addition to Easy Language researchers, we also invited Technical Communication professionals to participate. After all, in technical communication we aim to provide the user with relevant information in an understandable format. The workshop combined these two seemingly separate fields in a new and inspiring way. In agreement with the participants, we decided to turn this workshop into an annual event open to anyone who is interested in these fields.

In the 2023 VAKKI symposium, we seek to continue exploring the interfaces between cognitive accessibility and technical communication. What similarities and differences can be identified between these two fields? Are cognitive accessibility guidelines similar to technical communication guidelines? How could these fields support each other in developing digital accessibility?

Interfaces between accessibility and technical communication have only been addressed in recent years (see e.g. Huntsman, 2021). We invite researchers from both research fields to our workshop. In addition to academic presentations, we encourage them to present data or research questions that we can use as a source of discussion during the workshop. We invite submissions of 150-300 words that describe their academic presentation, data, or research questions. The workshop will take place in Vaasa, but we can accommodate online presentations if necessary. We welcome presentations in Finnish, Swedish, English, and German.

Contact: /


Huntsman, S. (2021). Addressing workplace accessibility practices through technical communication research methods: One size does not fit all. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication 64 (3), 221-234.

Kalender, M., Eren, M. T., Wu, Z., Cirakman, O., Kutluk, S., Gultekin, G., & Korkmaz, E. E. (2018). Videolization: Knowledge graph based automated video generation from web content. Multimedia Tools and Applications, 77(1), 567-595. doi:

Kervinen, M. (2021). Kielellinen saavutettavuus verkkopalveluissa. Seminaariesitelmä. Verkkoseminaari Ymmärrän 2021.