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I am legally blind - got any questions regarding accessibility?

Got any questions regarding accessibility issues?

     
10:30 pm on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am legally blind but still manage to work in the web design field, I will be happy to give my honest opinion, thoughts or experiences on any questions regarding website accessibility, colors, fonts, images, etc. What I hate when I visit a website, what I like, what makes me leave, etc.

Not sure if this will be useful but I thought, it may help to hear it firsthand.

Donít be worried you will offend me by asking what you may think is a stupid question, because that question may be a main subject to many people in my position.

10:52 pm on July 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Interesting thread with an intersting perspective- thanks for starting it!

One question I have: do you feel that every site MUST be made accessible to everyone? For example, if someone has a site that is mostly an image gallery, should that person be forced to amke it accessible to legally blind people (by including very long descriptive ALT tags for every image, etc.)?

11:56 pm on July 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am curious about how many visually impared people use the web? What user-agents can I look to for clues on whether the user is blind?
12:10 am on July 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I use fluid layout and non-fixed font sizes so the browser can adjust for visually impared users.

Are these a good, and are there any other solutions out there that can help, yet simple to implement?

12:26 am on July 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Iīve been thinking about this one. Would it help the sight impaired if I organized my site so that the html positoned the main content first, menu bar second, ads third, etc, then use css to organize the layout in whatever way I feel aesteticly pleasing?
12:40 am on July 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Firstly, thank you very much for offering to share your experiences with us regarding accessibility issues. Often, sighted webmasters are severely under-equipped when dealing with accessibility issues as it is difficult to put oneself in the place of someone with a visual impairment.

I've got some questions, some more basic than others. Feel free to pick any that you'd like to answer. Also, if I understand it from your initial post, you fit into the majority group of legally blind persons whose sight is impaired but not non-existent. Am I correct?

Here are my first questions, in a random order:

  • Do web-safe colors matter any more, or is it certain color combinations (such as green/red) or the lack of sufficient contrast that matter more to you?
  • Do you find Javascript-driven drop-down menus a problem?
  • How easy is it to use Javascript/AJAX-based web applications such as Gmail?
  • I tend to consider resizeable text to be the most important accessibility aid for a site. Is this true?
  • Do you find that most sites on the web are navigable for a visually-impaired person, or are there large areas of the web that you cannot access?
  • What tools do you use to help access web content? Do you use a screen reader, or do you use a standard browser with resized text defaults and adapted screen colors?
  • Is there one thing that a site owner can do that will improve the accessibility of his site to visually-impaired users?
  • What do you think of image-based CAPTCHA verification for forms?
  • Are CSS-P (table-less) layouts vital for accessibility, or is it possible to have an accessible site with a tables-based layout?
  • Are there any commonly-held misconceptions regarding web accessibility?
  • What problems do you experience as a visually-impaired person working within the web development field?

    I may come back with some more questions later. :) Thanks again, your experiences and input will be extremely valuable for many web developers here.

  • 1:47 pm on July 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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    I don't have a specific question but would like to know something about what it's like for you.

    When you surf, what do you get and how do you deal with it?

    Thanks for the offer about direct appraisal but posting our own links here against the terms and all that - so no can do.

    Thank you

    zoo

    4:30 pm on July 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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    Quote"
    For example, if someone has a site that is mostly an image gallery, should that person be forced to amke it accessible to legally blind people (by including very long descriptive ALT tags for every image, etc.)? "

    You can use the longdesc="" attribute along with the alt="" attribute. The longdesc attribute points the browser to another textual description page if the viewer has a seeing disability.