Skip links: CONTENT Main Menu

Citizens With Disabilities - Ontario


Olympic Logo Causes Fits

27 June 2007

Last week it was reported that the London 2012 Olympics team has attracted international ridicule after it was forced to remove an animated version of its controversial new logo because it was causing epileptic seizures.

The brightly coloured, rave-style jigsaw pieces have drawn mockery - and several attempts to do better - since their unveiling on last week. Not only were people ridiculing the design, but the online animation version of the logo fuelled the matter further after Epilepsy Action requested its removal following complaints from sufferers.

A spokesperson for the charity said:

The animated footage could affect the 23,000 people in the UK who have photosensitive epilepsy and may also affect other people who do not yet know that they are photosensitive.

The Olympics organisers responded with taking down the animation, agreeing to re-edit the segment, which included a diver leaping across multi-coloured shapes. The animation had also been aired on TV, breaking Ofcom guidelines.

Epilepsy Action calls on designers to adhere to the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) 1999 Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, which asks that web page users are able to control flickering and blinking and also require readers can avoid them altogether.

According to the guidelines:

People with photosensitive epilepsy can have seizures triggered by flickering or flashing in the four-to-59 flashes per second (Hertz) range with a peak sensitivity at 20 flashes per second as well as quick changes from dark to light (like strobe lights).

Epilepsy Action also reminded designers of their duty under the Disability Discrimination Act not to treat disabled users unfavourably during the design of a website.

Taken from

More accessibility articles.