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Vision accessibility basics

Remember, users may be disabled in more than one way.

  • Provide image alt text for non-decorative images – screen reading and text to speech software will read it out.
  • Keep content concise – users may be magnifying the text on their screens.
  • Structure your page content with hierarchical subheadings: Title/h1, h2, h3, h4.
  • Make hyperlink text meaningful by itself – screen reader users can skip through content to the links.
  • Use a legible font of at least 12 points.
  • Check colour contrast level meets accessibility requirements.
  • Don’t use colour as the only way to show something.
  • Only use tables for numeric data, and keep them simple: no merged cells.
  • Make information held in Word docs and PDFs accessible for screen readers, online provide HTML content versions.

Alternative text for images

5 rules for alt text from Abilitynet.org.uk:

  1. Every <img> must have an alt= attribute.
  2. Describe the information, not the picture.
  3. Active images require descriptive alt text.
  4. Images that contain information require descriptive alt text.
  5. Decorative images should have empty alt text.

Find out more about low vision, no vision and colour blindness from the WebAIM Visual Disability Introduction.

Labelled person icon examples of permanent, temporary and situational disability related to sight: blind, cataract, distracted driver.
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