Cognitive accessibility of the environment for the disabled during rehabilitation and habilitation: a route-oriented approach


Miroshnichenkо Oksana Anatolyevna — PhD in Psychological Sciences (Cand. Psych. Sci.), Head of the Scientific and Methodological Department of the Federal Resource (Information and Methodological) Center for the Formation of an Accessible Environment for the Disabled and Other Low-Mobility Groups of the Population, Albrecht Federal Scientific and Educational Centre of Medical and Social Expertise and Rehabilitation, 50 Bestuzhevskaya Street, 195067 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation; e-mail:;

Vechkanova Irina Gennad’evna — PhD in Pedagogical Sciences (Cand. Ped. Sci.), Associate Professor, Head of Project Activities Department of the Federal Resource (Information and Methodological) Center for the Formation of an Accessible Environment for the Disabled and Other Low-Mobility Groups of the Population, А!Ьгес1й Federal Scientific and Educational Centre of Medical and Social Expertise and Rehabilitation, 50 Bestuzhevskaya Street, 195067 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation; e-mail:;

In the heading: Original researches

Year: 2024 Volume: 6 Journal number: 1 

Pages: 19-30

Article type: scientific and practical

UDC: 364.1;364.07;364.24;364.25;376

DOI: 10.26211/2658-4522-2024-6-1-19-30


Introduction. The issues of identifying, assessing cognitive accessibility and ways to overcome information barriers that arise in the process of communication among persons with disabilities who have impaired mental functions, intelligence and speech, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), arouse the active attention of participants in the rehabilitation process in various organizations of departmental affiliation. The formation of approaches to the creation of an accessible communication space is based on the conditions of an accessible environment formulated by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and taking into account the factors of the categories of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), at two levels — the individual and society.

Aim. Systematization of interdisciplinary ideas and approaches in the field of cognitive accessibility in order to form universal mechanisms for overcoming barriers in the comprehensive rehabilitation of disabled people.

Materials and methods. The methodology of the study was based on the generalization of data on the modeling of a focus group of specialists of a multidisciplinary team in the field of social services and the provision of rehabilitation services to persons with impaired mental functions. The study involved specialists from multidisciplinary teams of (42 people): psycho-pedagogical profile (47 %), social work specialists (16 %), medical workers (37 %). During the differentiation, the following research methods were used: interviewing experts about the accessible environment of institutions, persons with disabilities and their surroundings, data collection, study of documentation. Methods of qualitative analysis of descriptive statistics were used.

Results. In the course of the study, indicators of barriers were determined in the qualitative correlation of the approaches of psychologists, pedagogical and social workers with the orientation of doctors to the ICF, based on the mechanisms involved in the formation of behavior of persons with impaired intellectual and speech functions. Taking into account the indicator of the stability of phenomena, based on a qualitative analysis by a focus group (the majority, more than 63 %), it is possible to determine the types of barriers along the axis: objective, subjective, situational.

Discussion. Developing a route-oriented approach, the key task is not only to overcome physical barriers, but also communicative ones, namely, the formation of individual communicative accessible routes for people with mental disorders. The target group are in need of these cognitive routes. For the development of approaches in the field of cognitive accessibility, one of the main mechanisms for the development of an accessible communication system is the need to overcome perception barriers. Taking into account the individual approach (86 %), only a multidisciplinary team of specialists can cope with this.

Conclusion. Proposals are given for the development of a route-oriented approach as a methodology of cognitive accessibility aimed at increasing the availability of information for people with mental disorders (intellectual, speech, ASD). The necessity of using AAC, an easy language for persons with mental and speech disorders, as one of the factors contributing to the observance of their civil rights and the creation of an accessible environment is emphasized.

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