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Experience the web as personas with access needs

The GDS Accessibility team has created 7 different accessibility personas. Each persona has different access needs. They are:

  • Claudia – a sight impaired screen magnifier user
  • Ashleigh – a severely sight impaired screenreader user
  • Ron – an older user with multiple conditions
  • Chris – a user with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Pawel – an autistic user
  • Simone – a dyslexic user
  • Saleem – a profoundly deaf user

This website documents how you can set up a device or browser so that each persona has their own profile. Each profile has a different simulation of their persona’s condition and runs the assistive technology they use to help them.

You can use these profiles to experience the web from the perspective of the personas and gain more understanding of accessibility issues. Each persona’s page has a basic introduction to those personas and includes help how to use certain features and quick training tasks.

Read our blog post to learn more about how we have used the personas so far.


This is not a substitute for including users with access needs into your user testing.

A simulation is never a true representation of an impairment. It’s only a tool trying to make some things roughly as difficult for someone without that impairment.

The assistive technologies in this setup, especially the screen reader and voice control tool, are not appropriate for compatibility testing. Use mainstream tools for that.