Technology holds the promise of being extremely flexible and the design of many systems includes the expectation that users will be able to optimise their interaction experience according to their personal preferences or accessibility requirements. Typical configurable features include adjustments such as colours, text and icon size, sounds or mouse double click speed. More comprehensive preferences include enabling different input methods such as speech recognition or Assistive Technology like screen readers. Other preferences such as language or regional conventions also effect the user's interactions.

Preference selection is nearly always implemented by providing a range of forms with controls for enabling or choosing options for each preferences. These forms can be complex in detail such audio configuration, or complex by fact of their sheer size. A specific preference can be hard to locate in control panels with many options even if both search and browsing are provided as with Windows control Panel.

Another issue is that changes to settings may not take immediate effect, or if they do, it may be difficult to roll back from a setting that was tried out of curiosity but is unsuitable for the user.

As a result people with cognitive disabilities can be become daunted, or worse, completely unable to select their desired preferences. Indeed depending on the indiviual and the technology being used it may be impossible with a supporter's assistance

So specific problems for people with cognitive disabilities include:

In fact, many of these options effect a wide range of users, not just those with cognitive disabilities.

The GPII Cloud4All project includes research and development to provide tools to address many of these issues. Its is also involved in standardisation work including ISO/IEC 24751, Individualized adaptability and accessibility in e-learning, education and training