You do not have to put all of these features on a web site but using some of them will improve the accessibility of the site.
- Choose colours with a good contrast, that is text colour and background colour. Black on white or black on pale yellow are particularly good options.
- Don't used 'fixed' font sizes and check that the View --> Text Size option works on your web pages.
This is obviously useful to those with poor vision but useless if the web designer uses fixed sized fonts.
The Alternative to Fixed FontsThere are other alternative but a nice simple one is to use a percentage font size. This site for example uses 100% for content (pale yellow), 90% for navigation (light orange), 225% for the main heading, that is - Accessibility Issues - on this page.
I find that the 100% is good for general use, which is why I usually use it for the content area, on this site that is pages in the pale yellow area.
I don't intend to go into the detail of html (the main language of the web) but this example shows how easy it is: -
A link to your sites home page in the html code might look like this :
- <a href="index.html">Home Page</a>
- <a href="index.html" accesskey="0">Home Page</a>
To see how they work, try the keyboard shortcuts on this site. Hold down the ALT key and tap '0' then release both keys. you may also then have to press return.
Note Apple Macs use the Control (or Ctrl) key not Alt.
- Have a text alternative (shown on mouse over in some browsers) on all important pictures. For unimportant pictures leave a blank text alternative.
- Have text links for site navigation, never rely purely on a graphic link, for example a photo showing 'click here for next page' will not be meaningful to any voice reader software.
- Use punctuation carefully, this is good for fully sighted readers too! Split long sentences into two or break them with a comma. All punctuation makes a voice reader pause briefly.
For a great deal more on all accessibility issues, visit: -
- RNIB - Web Access Center - Design and build.
- Cabinet Office: Building in universal accessibility + checklist.