Accessibility Guidelines for People with Epilepsy

Audio and visual warnings for content that may trigger seizures

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizure disorders. These seizures can range from mild to severe and may include convulsions, loss of consciousness, and other physical symptoms. Seizures are caused by disturbances in the electrical activity of the brain and may be related to a brain injury or family tendency. However, the cause is often unknown.

What Causes Epilepsy?

Epilepsy can occur at any age and can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, brain damage, and other medical conditions. Some of them are:

Genetics and family history:

Epilepsy can be caused by genetic mutations or inherited traits that affect the brain’s electrical activity.

Brain damage or injury:

Any trauma or injury to the brain, such as a head injury or stroke, can cause epilepsy.

Abnormal brain development:

Epilepsy can occur when the brain doesn’t develop properly, leading to abnormal electrical activity.


Infections of the brain, such as meningitis or encephalitis, can cause epilepsy.

Prenatal injury or brain malformations:

Epilepsy can result from injuries sustained during fetal development or brain malformations that are present at birth.

Abnormal levels of brain chemicals or electrical activity:

Changes in the levels of brain chemicals or disruptions in electrical activity in the brain can lead to epilepsy.

Substance abuse or withdrawal:

The use or withdrawal of certain substances, such as alcohol or drugs’ side effects, can cause seizures and epilepsy.

Some common triggers for photosensitive seizures in people with different types of epilepsy include flashing lights, patterns, and certain colors. This is why it’s essential to make digital content more accessible to those with epilepsy.

accessible web usage

What Treatments are Available for Epilepsy?

There is no cure for epilepsy, but treatments are available to help manage the condition. These treatments include medication, surgery, and lifestyle changes, such as avoiding triggers and getting enough sleep. It’s important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) for People with Epilepsy

When designing digital content, it’s important to consider the needs of all users, including those with epileptic and people with disabilities in terms of digital accessibility. Because these seizures can be life-threatening, it can prevent people from accessing the internet at all.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W33C) has guidelines for developers in its Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to make content more accessible. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has made this type of content illegal. Here are some guidelines for making web content more accessible to people with photosensitive epilepsy:

Avoid flashing content or strobing effects:

Flash thresholds or strobing effects can trigger some types of seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy. Avoid using high flash rates or strobing effects, or limit them to three flashes and limit pixels.

Use color carefully:

Certain colors, particularly red and blue, and high contrast can trigger seizures in some people with epilepsy. Use color carefully such as saturated reds and avoid using color combinations that can cause discomfort or trigger seizures.

Avoid rapidly changing content:

Rapidly changing content, such as scrolling text or flickering images, can be difficult for people with epilepsy to process and may trigger seizures. Avoid using rapidly changing content or limit it to brief durations.

Provide alternatives for audio and visual content:

Audio and visual content can be difficult for some people with epilepsy to process. Animations and GIFs are distractions and can trigger seizures in those with photoelectric sensitivity. Provide alternatives, such as captions or transcripts.

Design with clear, simple layouts:

Clear, simple layouts can help people with epilepsy process digital content more easily. Epilepsy Foundation suggests using clear, easy-to-read fonts and minimizing distractions and clutter.

Provide warning for potentially triggering content:

If it is necessary to include photosensitivity content that may be triggering for people with epilepsy, provide a warning before the content is displayed. This will give the user an opportunity to navigate away from the content or take appropriate precautions.

Test content for accessibility:

Before publishing content, test it for accessibility using tools like accessibility checkers and by asking people with epilepsy to review it. This can help identify potential issues and ensure that the content is accessible to as many people as possible.

Why People with Epilepsy Should Use Text-to-Speech?

People with epilepsy may experience difficulties processing visual or auditory information, particularly during seizures or in the post-seizure period. In such cases, the use of text-to-speech software such as Speaktor can be particularly helpful. Here are some reasons why people with epilepsy may benefit from using text-to-speech:

  1. Reduces visual stimuli: Text-to-speech software can reduce the number of visual stimuli that people with epilepsy are exposed to, which may help prevent seizures triggered by visual stimuli.
  2. Improves comprehension: Some people with epilepsy may experience difficulties processing auditory information. Text-to-speech software can convert text into spoken words, which can improve understanding and reduce cognitive load.
  3. Provides an alternative to reading: Reading can be difficult or uncomfortable for some people with epilepsy. Text-to-speech software provides an alternative method of accessing written information, which can be less taxing and more accessible.
  4. Allows for multitasking: Listening to spoken words allows people with epilepsy to multitask and engage in other activities while accessing information, which can be particularly helpful during periods of cognitive or sensory overload.
  5. Improves accessibility: Text-to-speech software can improve accessibility for people with visual impairments or other disabilities that make it difficult to read written text.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does epilepsy affect reading?

Some types of epilepsy can impact language patterns, making it more difficult to read. Many of the different types of epilepsy, particularly generalized epilepsy, affect a wide range of neurological functions that involve language, comprehension, and in some cases, reading.

Can reading cause a seizure?

There is a type of epilepsy called reading epilepsy. It typically begins in the teen years and is triggered by reading. At first, it triggers myoclonic seizures, which are brief jerks around the mouth and jaw. However, if the person continues reading while the myoclonic seizures occur, there is an increased risk of escalating to a tonic-clonic seizure.

Share the Post:

State of the art A.I.

Get Started with Speaktor Now!

Related Articles

Opening the text-to-speech feature on TikTok

How to Use Text To Speech On TikTok?

One of TikTok’s biggest stars is its text-to-speech voice feature. Instead of simply overlaying text in your video, you can now get subtitles read aloud by a few options. The

Activating text-to-speech in Discord

How to Use Text to Speech on Discord?

How to Make Discord Read Your Messages? In its simplest form, you can use the “/tts” command to use text-to-speech. After typing /tts, leave a space and write your message; the

Customizing text-to-speech settings in Google Docs

How to Turn On Text to Speech with Google Docs?

How to Activate Google’s “Screen Reader” Text to Speech extension? The first thing to know is that only the Google Chrome browser supports Google “Screen Reader” extension offered by Google

Convert Text to Speech on Instagram

How to Convert Text to Speech on Instagram?

How to Add Text to Speech on Instagram Reels? Text-to-speech is one of Instagram’s most recent updates. The read-text-aloud feature of Instagram converts text to audio. In addition, it now