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How disabled users work with the Internet

23 November 2012

1995 has given a start to a new era of Internet accessibility so that even disabled users could work with the Internet. According to the Disability Discrimination Act, it’s unlawful for a service provider to discriminate disabled people by not providing them a service which they provide to the public. A website is basically a service, therefore pretty soon the RNIB (Royal Institution for Blind) and DRC (Disability Rights Commission) has put a pressure on organizations to push this law into practice. So how can disabled people access the Internet? What are the ways to work with web for them?

Blind users

Internet users who have no sight at all use a screen reader which reads the content of the site back to them. These type of machines sift through what needs to be read aloud and what bits of the text are supposed to be ignored.

Partial/bad sight

To take the full advantage of the Internet, users with partial sight need to enlarge the text on the web pages. Therefore, it’s important to create standards-compliant designs. You never know who can become your potential customer, that’s why you should always aim to encompass bigger market. Check out whether your website allows your visitors to enlarge the text. To do so, on the Internet Explorer go to View – Font Size- Largest. If your website is accessible for people with partial sight, then the size of the text will increase.

Colour blindness

According to the research, one in 12 men and one in 200 women have some kind of colour blindness. It would be a good idea to check how Internet users with different strains of colour blindness view your web pages. There are many online tools to do that.

Deaf Internet users

Deaf users can access the Internet in the same way as able-bodied people with only one exception – they won’t be able to access the audio content. If that’s the key function of your website, make sure to provide your visitors with written transcriptions.

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