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 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.