Visually Impaired

Most people have never heard of ADA compliance, but do you know you can be in serious trouble if your website is not ADA compliant. Your company could be buried in lawsuits at this very moment if visually impaired users cannot use your website. ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities act. You might think this only applies to Americans, but think about how many people from the United States visit your website. However, it is the idea behind the ADA that is important not the actual legalities of it. Visually impaired people are neglected from many websites, but why not invite them to your page and increase your users? Have you actually thought about those people?

You might think that visually impaired people or people who are blind cannot use the web because it has a visual requirement. You couldn’t be further from the truth. I would actually bet money that I know someone who can read faster than you and she is blind. Take a break and search for “screen readers” or “JAWS”, better yet go to youtube.com and watch a video. I promise you that you will leave impressed.

I must clarify what I describe as visually impaired. This is not simply a classification of people who cannot see, but those that have defects in their ability to see. Color blind is another visual impairment. Have you looked at the contrast of your website? Take a screen shot of your website and open up some image software. Remove the colors from the screen shot. If you can see everything, you have at least tailored to those with color blindness.

What about those people that can see, but not very well. Developers and designer love to try to push work off on the browsers. What I mean is that you should not depend on people zooming in their browsers into your content. Try making your smallest font at least 12px and up to 16px. Now, use your browser and make the font size bigger. Did your website just break when you changed it to 20px? While I would not even tell you to try to support everything a browser can do to your website (we are only human), it is useful though to try to handle more than the average settings. Start thinking about all of the visual impairments and what those people really see when they visit your website.

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