Is Your Blog Accessible to People With Disabilities?

braille screen reader imageBlog designers should consider ways to make Web content more available to all users, and help people find information more quickly.

Consider that many users may be operating in contexts very different from your own. Have you thought about these issues while designing your blog?

Web Surfing Devices
Websites can be viewed from a desktop or laptop browser, voice browser, mobile phone, automobile-based personal computer, etc. Can your users connect to your blog using all these devices?

Hardware Constraints
Users may only have access to a text-only screen, a small screen, or even a slow Internet connection. While broadband is more available, there are some users who do not have it.

Browser Versions
Users may have an early version of a browser, a different browser entirely, a voice browser, or a different operating system. Have you designed for the more popular browsers on the Mac, PC, and Linux platforms?

Language Barriers
Users may not speak or understand fluently the language in which the document is written. It may be necessary to consider linking to online translators (like Bablefish).

Environmental Issues
Noisy surroundings, under- or over-illuminated rooms, in a hands-free environment, for example, may all be valid issues for a difficult surfing experience.

Physical or Developmental Disabilities
There are many issues that fall under this category. Some to consider are:

  • Users may not be able to see, hear, move.
  • They may not be able to process some types of information easily or at all, including difficulty reading or comprehending text.
  • Not all users can make use of visual clues such as image maps, proportional scroll bars, side-by-side frames, or graphics that guide sighted users of graphical desktop browsers.
  • Users also lose contextual information when they can only view a portion of a page, either because they are accessing the page one word at a time (speech synthesis or braille display), or one section at a time (small display, or a magnified display).
  • Without better orientation information, users may not be able to understand very large tables, lists, menus, etc.
  • Some users might not have or not be able to use a keyboard or mouse.

Related Posts: Design Your Blog to Be More Accessible to a Wider Audience and Tips & Tricks to Improve Blog Accessibility

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