What epilepsy specific accessibility could look like

Based on the recent events of using animated gifs to cause epileptic fits and the arrest of the poster of said animations, maybe it’s time to talk about epilepsy specific accessibility needs.

So what would an epilepsy-safe environment look like?

Online:

  • No flashing objects
  • No animated gifs
  • No strobes
  • Control over motion on/off, and the same for sound

Offline: pretty much the same exact thing.

Everyone will have their own triggers. I don’t know what those are for other people.

All I know are mine. Flashing lights are very disorienting, especially since they often get reduced to on/off, and especially blue lights causing just dizziness. Yes, that includes police cars on running events.

Options I would love to have for computer and online accessibility:

  • Disable animations of all gifs
  • No Flash
  • Manual control of video and audio controls
  • Ability to disable also all video (as in moving pictures); pick only the audio so I could listen to whatever app thinks it needs full video. This would probably more towards of visually impaired accessibility wishlist, but it would benefit both
  • Maybe also an option to have an accessibility shortcut for disabling all motion

I have no clue what others do for their offline accommodations. For physical place controls I would list these: control over any flashing lights, including flickering indoor lights (you might not notice their flicker), ability to retract to a dark environment, a place to sit down or lie down. Portable solution: very dark shades (Blackout Bands or similar), sleep mask, possible mobility aid (especially when or if night-time flashing lights leave no usable sight). No blue lights or harsh white lights either, including indoors.

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