Why web accessibility is critical to low-vision users
Posted on 18 Jun 2012 at 14:40
Robin Spinks, principal manager for digital accessibility at RNIB explains why our joint 180-Day WebSight Pledge is so important
Having just celebrated the last birthday of my thirties, it's hard to think of an area of my life where the internet does not play a critical role.
I've grown up as a person with low vision, never really thinking of myself as being different from anyone else. But stopping for one moment and reflecting, I'm quickly reminded of the life-enhancing role that technology has played throughout my life.
Take the pledge!Click here to take our 180-Day WebSight Pledge
I've always been interested in gadgets and got my first computer back in 1984. Throughout my education, computers helped to level the playing field for me. But it's in the past few years that I've seen the biggest change. And it's during the time that technology has transformed my life.
I've always struggled with reading print, either in newspapers or magazines. But the onset of ebooks and the advent of apps has changed all that for me. I can now search, discover and enjoy books in my preferred font size. Of course I can also browse the web and read online news articles in a font size which works for me. No more struggling to see small type!
Having access to the internet has made my life much more enjoyable, productive and fulfilling. On a daily basis I use the web for banking, shopping, catching up on news and of course, social networking.
I'm keenly aware of the importance of good web design. A well designed site will work for me. I'll use it regularly, return to it happily and willingly recommend it to others. Conversely, a site that disappoints through having poor accessibility won't get bookmarked, revisited or talked about positively. Similarly with apps, they've just got to be easy to use, with easy to configure font sizes and contrast.
Small changes and a little forethought in terms of design can make such a massive difference to the experience of the UK's 1.8 million people with sight loss
I'm delighted to support the campaign and to encourage people to make simple but important changes to their digital services. Small changes and a little forethought in terms of design can make such a massive difference to the experience of the UK's 1.8 million people with sight loss.
We're all familiar with good physical access to shops and public facilities. Let's move forward and apply that same positivity of spirit to our digital services, reaping the benefits of good design and ease of access.
so how well does this site do?
I was anticipating a programme of 180 days to update this site as an exemplar of leading practice to be described under the pledge logo. Perhaps this site is already great. Not obvious to me.
By kyber on 18 Jun 2012
For more details about purchasing this feature and/or images for editorial usage, please contact Jasmine Samra on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Adobe buys Aviary to open Creative Cloud to mobile
- iPhone 6 is toughest Apple handset yet
- Ellison steps down: but who's really running Oracle now?
- Amazon releases high-end Kindle Voyage Touch
- Sony warns of massive loss on smartphones
- Dropbox app doesn't work properly with iOS 8
- Dark clouds for Adobe as profits slide by 46%
- Windows 9 Technical Preview launch date revealed
- New Windows 9 videos show off multi-desktops and notification centre
- Chromebook owners get access to Android apps
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office