Adapting Site for Visually Impaired
You've set up your website to appeal to shoppers, consumers of all kinds, and other people that you're trying to market. But, have you thought about people that are visually impaired? Millions of visually impaired people use and rely on the Internet daily, but the Internet isn't always friendly.
For people navigating the net in a dark world, some websites are just plain inaccessible. The belief is that setting up a site to appeal to the visually impaired is hard, but that's actually not the case. In fact, it is entirely possible to create a website that anyone – really, anyone – can easily use.
Adapting Site for Visually Impaired: Creating a Completely Accessible Site
There are a few different types of blindness that you will have to consider when building a site that's accessible to the visually impaired. The main types of blindness include color blindness, low vision, and partial or total blindness. Let's start with color blindness.
Adapting Site for Visually Impaired: Adapting Your Site to Color Blindness
Think outside of the color box: split up your site into different sections using something other than color. Icons, different types of print, and other eye-catching tactics work just as well as color does.
Try denaturing your website. Most images can stand on their own thanks to deep contrast lines. This simple move can help a lot of people see your site better.
Adapting Site for Visually Impaired: Total or Partial Blindness Adaptations
Most visually impaired people access the Internet with alternate browsers or tools like the popular JAWS software. So, setting up proper ALT & title tags; HTML validations settings; making sure source codes are right; and using less graphics will make a huge difference.
Really, though, these things are basic steps that you'd take anyway to create a great site. So, you don't have to do too much to change the way that your site operates when catering to the partial or total blind crowd.
Adapting Site for Visually Impaired: Low Vision Adaptations
For those with low vision, viewing a site that's too cluttered is often difficult. Set clear boundaries between sections of your site; front-load your site's content; skip the flashing and scrolling text; and keep things really simple. These steps might seem basic, but they will really help out those millions of people trying desperately to view your site.
Adapting Site for Visually Impaired: Additional Thoughts
It may seem like a lot of work to go through just to make a site more accessible to the blind. But, when you think about it, most of these tips should be included in every site anyway. Sites that are too crowded or hectic just aren't a good idea in any situation, and you should keep colours to a minimum. Is your site accessible to the visually impaired? No? This might be a step that many people seeking to view your website would appreciate!
Questions? Comments? Let me know below.