Accessibility and colour blindness

Adam Marshall presented a talk at the WebLearn User Group meeting on 7 July 2014 about writing accessible webpages. He showed a YouTube video which demonstrates how a screen reader reads out the content, links and navigation on a Sakai webpage to a person with visual impairment.

According to Wikipedia “Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent access to websites by people with disabilities”. The Special Education Needs and Disability (SENDA) Act of 2001 requires web designers to ‘make reasonable provisions’ to ensure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as those who are not disabled. The Act applies also to WebLearn site owners and users.

Another important aspect to be aware of is colour blindness, which affects a significant proportion of the population. This interesting blog post by the Oxford Protein Informatics Group includes some fun visual tests to experience things as a colour blind person would see them. The post also provides guidelines on how to design colourblind-friendly presentations.

Contact the WebLearn team if you would like hard copies of the following JISC Tech-Dis books about accessibility and particular electronic formats:

  • Access all areas: disability, technology and learning
  • Making electronic documents more readable
  • Writing accessible electronic documents with Microsoft Word
  • Creating accessible presentations
  • Making the most of PDFs
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