A picture may be worth a thousand words, but visual elements like images are an accessibility barrier to blind users and those with low vision. Alt text is the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load on a user's screen. This text helps screen-reading tools describe images to visually impaired readers.
People with low vision often can’t read small text sizes. So, they have to use specific font settings when browsing your website. Offering an alternate style sheet with the ability to enlarge the font size without breaking your page layout should make it easier for them to read your content.
Along with text size, think about color and contrast. People with vision impairments such as retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataract have low color contrast sensitivity. When designing your webpages, make sure to have a high contrast between the foreground and background, such as yellow letters on a black background.
For blind and visually impaired users, navigation is a challenge. As they can’t use a mouse to browse the site, you have to incorporate keyboard navigation into your website. Blind users will use Braille keyboards to access your site.
Videos and other multimedia elements on your website play a critical role in increasing the user-engagement on your website. While blind and visually-impaired users can’t see visuals, deaf users and those hard-of-hearing can’t hear audio. You can use an audio description to describe visuals-only parts such as images, gestures, and changes in settings, among others. It will help blind users to enjoy the video.
Screen readers can quickly and precisely read descriptive URLs, offering blind and visually-impaired users some context. Meaningful descriptions also make it easier to skip to the right content. For example, when describing the link of the “About” page, keep the following mind.
Avoid using anchor text like “Read More” or “Click Here” anywhere on the page.
8. Avoid Using Placeholder Text in Forms
Online forms often use placeholder text to describe various elements to save space. However, placeholder text is usually grey. Visually impaired users can’t read it due to the low contrast.
Usually, screen readers will inform blind users of how many rows and columns a table has. However, it is often challenging for screen readers to read the tabular data in the same flow that matches the visual order.