Approximately 14 million Americans aged 12 years and older have a self-reported visual impairment. 3.4 million (3%) Americans aged 40 years and older are either blind or visually impaired. Makeing a website accessible adds a large population of viewers.
Vision impairment affects increase as the population ages and the number of individuals grows. In my opinion, making changes for vision impaired accesses improves a website for all visitors.
The rules I follow are:
- Use large and simple fonts. Avoid fonts with extra embellishments and use at least 20 point font size.
- Do not rely on color alone to indicate status. “Items in red and marked with an asterisk (*) are required.” The asterisk is essential for the red color blind.
- The saying “a picture is worth 1000 words”, applies only to those that can see. Adding a caption to all images allows the vision impaired to grasp the purpose the image.
- Use alt-text to images to describe the image. It does not appear on the psge however thed software used by the vision impaired reads the text to viewer so they can expediency the image.
- Use high contrast. Black and white better than shades of gray for the vision impaired.
- Make buttons self-descriptive. Say “Click to see the list of —” rather than “More”.
I am not an expert on accessibility, but I am aware of the need to make websites accessible for all. An accessible website makes economic sense and shows the site sponsor is a good corporate citizen. A few changes expand the potential audience.