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We aim to achieve the Bobby standard for people with disabilities on all our sites. Click here for a summary of the Bobby guidelines.
Blind or partially sighted people may use a screen reader, which reads out all text and 'alt' image tags. 'Alternative' image tags are short descriptions hidden in the webpage and these are read out by the screen reader instead of the picture so that people with disabilities can still have a complete experience of your website. Therefore it is important that every image has the relevant 'alt' tag. For example sighted people may see a picture of a cat, but the screen reader of people with sight difficulties however would be read the 'alt' image description, e.g.."picture of a cat". If you go to one of the pictures on our site and hold your cursor still over the image, you will see it's alt image appear and consequently the text which will be read out by any screen reader.
Screen readers read in order from left to right and top to bottom of any web page. Therefore if your navigation element is on the left of the web pages, the whole of the navigation menu is read out before the content on every page. If your navigation is extensive then this would be very annoying. Imagine if you where forced to read all the navigation before the content on every page. The simple solution is to put a link before the navigation that skips to the content. The link can be made the same colour as the background so it doesn't alter the visual appearance of the webpages, but will still be read out by a screen reader.
Partially sighted users use the font size control within their browser to increase the size of the text making it easier to read, but this is only possible if the font size is set to "default". Therefore if we are designing a website for access by partially sighted people we will set the font size to default so that it can be set within the web browser. Try it yourself:
Of course the problem is that the entire textual content of the website must be have the font size set to default which is quite a large font size from a design point of view. If your website is aimed primarily at partially sighted people this is not so much a problem. But there is another innovative solution we have come up with where the text can be any size you like as default, but you can allow your users to pick the font size of the text themselves just by clicking a link on the webpage. We can even create a link that displays the text as white on a black background. Do you want to see an example of increased accessibility for partially sighted people?
If your website is intended to be viewed by people who may have lower grade computers and technology or in countries that have poorer communication systems then it will be advantageous to produce your website in a text only version too. For example computers in India and Third world countries may only have a 15.6k modem connection which would download pictures and graphics very very slowly.
More information can be found at:
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