How To Make Your Website Accessible By The Visually Impaired?

Visual impairment is a common problem that affects most people above 50 years of age. Yet they all use the internet quite comfortably, just like any normal person would. If you want to reach out to all these people, you will have to make sure your website is accessible to them.  Here are a few tips you could use, in this context:

Make your text larger

More often than not, just by making your text larger, you can make your website accessible to most of the visually impaired. You can use different stylesheets for large font sizes so that your layout doesn’t break. Your visually impaired users will be able to read your content without having to zoom in on the text.

Use contrasting elements for better readability

There are many visually impaired internets users with eye diseases such as cataracts, Retinopathy, Glaucoma, and Retinitis Pigmentosa. They find it difficult to differentiate between similar shades of color and levels of brightness. If you have used subtle gradients to come up with a modern, clean, and unobtrusive interface that makes for a very pleasing visual experience, you can consider offering a second version of the site with contrasting elements. On this version you could use bold text for better readability. Make sure the users can highlight different elements of your page if they want to. This can increase contrast and aid their visual focus.

Use right colors for action items

Apart from genetic colorblindness, there is also the acquired color blindness that people can develop due to an eye disease or injury. They might find it difficult to differentiate between colors such as red and green and blue and yellow. Avoid these color combos while creating action buttons. The text has to be clean and visible and the iconography has to make the purpose clear.

Make your mobile site responsive to desktop

When compared to desktop sites, mobile sites are often optimized for better visibility. The elements are simplified, the visual clutter is less, and more focus is given to the text. So, even if you have a separate mobile version of your site, make sure it is accessible by other devices such as desktop. This way you can increase website accessibility without spending on additional development costs.

Most visually impaired people browse the web through screen readers. They may not be able to access websites that use too much of JavaScript and AJAX functionalities. You might want to reduce on them. You can use keyboard shortcuts if you want to make your website more navigable to the visually impaired.

Leave a Reply