To obtain a card for a specific application, the user may need to complete an application form on paper or on a computer terminal. For people with a visual impairment, this can be problematic unless the form is available in a range of alternative formats and the online form has been designed for accessibility (according to the web accessibility techniques).
People with intellectual impairments often experience difficulties in understanding what information they are required to input. Many people find it difficult to understand complicated written text. Overall, 22.6% of the Irish population are "functionally illiterate" (source: united nations Undp), meaning that, while they can read to some degree, they would have difficulty reading a newspaper, filling in a form or following the instructions on a medicine bottle. Similarly, people whose first language is not English, such as first-generation immigrants or foreign visitors, may have some reading ability but it may be low. The initial configuration and personalisation of the card is then done by the service provider before issuing the card to the individual. This can include incorporating any requested preferences for the user interface (such as large characters or speech output). To simplify card issuance, it is possible to have a number of œstandard profiles for various groups of disabled users. These should be available as part of the application process.
The following are key accessibility considerations:
- Information literature and application forms about the service should be available in a range of alternative formats;
- Information and forms should be in clear, simple language and easy to understand; and
- Text should be at least 12 point type size (14 point is recommended so more people can access the standard format) and offer good contrast on a plain background.
More detailed information is provided in the guideline on literature and application forms