Hints for designing accessible websites

Best practices for producing accessible web sites by the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

    Many people with sight problems have some useful vision, and read web pages in exactly the same way as fully sighted people: with their eyes. However the needs of people with poor sight vary considerably, depending on how their eye condition affects their vision. Some people require large text, while others can read only smaller letters. Most need a highly contrasting colour scheme, and some have very specific needs, for example yellow text on a black background. To cater for everyone, websites should be flexible in design, enabling individual users to use their own browser to adjust the text and colour settings to suit their own particular needs and circumstances.

    People with very little or no vision, on the other hand, read web pages with the help of access technology installed on their computer. Synthesised speech software can read the content of web pages aloud through a speaker, while braille software can output the same content to a retractable braille display so that the web page can be read by touch. Good design is essential for people accessing the web in these ways - poor design can render a site completely inaccessible.

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