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Make Your Website Accessible to the Blind - Nico Associates

Quote about accessibilityThe internet is an integral part of everyday life for most people. We use it for almost every facet of life. But despite its growing importance, not all organizations have websites accessible to those who are visually impaired. Fortunately, there are many easy ways a business can make their website accessible to the blind. In this post we will explore how you can help make your website accessible to the blind.

First off, check out this video to learn how a blind person “sees” the internet. Then read our tips on how to make your website accessible to the blind.

Accessibility Tips

Allowing for larger text – This is a simple addition to make to any website. Offering a text-only version of a website that lets the user change the text to their liking is also a great option.

Fonts – Try to avoid using fonts that may be difficult to read at first glance, and instead choose simple or common fonts.  This will make your content both easier and faster to read.

Changing the colors – Changing the colors of the website can help with color blindness. Many businesses use color to convey information, such as red for “cancel” and green for “send”. However, this doesn’t translate well for someone who has difficulty seeing red and green. Which is one of the most common forms of color blindness. How can you help make your website easy to navigate? Avoid using potentially confusing color combinations (red, green, blue, and yellow). Instead, try using icons or clear text for navigation buttons.

Offering contrast adjustments – This can help those who have contrast sensitivity. Those who have certain eye disorders, such as glaucoma, retinopathy, or cataracts can have difficulty seeing websites that depend on shades of colors and brightness. Since using gradients have become popular with websites, the subtle shifts in color can be a challenge for these individuals. In order to combat this issue, offering a second version of the website can simplify navigation.

Keyboard Shortcuts – Using a mouse or mouse pad on a laptop is standard for many computer users, but for some people with visual impairments, using a keyboard is an easier way to navigate a website. Keyboard shortcuts can be integrated into the website to make moving around the website much easier. It can also help to reduce eye strain, which can be caused by following the small mouse icon across the page.

A good example of a website with accessibility for visually impaired and blind is Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed is a website that provides news, discusses trending topics, rich journalism coverage, DIY projects, and recipes to the public.  The website uses large text, tab accessible navigation, and contrasting colors of text and backgrounds to make it easier to read. Their mobile website also offers the same accessibility characteristics.

The internet has become a content-rich place for people to find almost all of their wants and needs and spread information. With this in mind, ensuring that your content is available to everyone is an important responsibility for a business. Making a website accessible for those who are visually impaired is something everyone should consider in order to reach a wide population of viewers and users. As an added bonus, accessibility guidelines for the visually impaired meet the same standards that search engine bots need to read a website.  This means that by being a responsible website developer, you will also have improved SEO.

To get started, take the time to explore your website and see where you can make adjustments, what needs to be done, and how it can be accomplished.


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