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Chapter 16. Accessibility: Considering Y... > Accessibility Considerations

Accessibility Considerations

Most mainstream Web browsers, when given any Web page, will know how to load it, because they’re all based on the design popularized by Mosaic, extended by Netscape, and universally adopted by software engineers ever since. Generally, you see a toolbar at the top of the browser window, which includes an address bar and buttons for “Back,” “Home,” and so on. You’ll see scrollbars and resize bars with which you can change your window size and view, and you can easily play sounds, click links, and so on. Most browsers display a seamless layout of text, tables, colors, pictures, layers, and other elements. A designer on a media-heavy, slick-looking page may sensitively address questions of color theory, readability, typography, and so on to make a page easy to read in a standard browser window, but most designers have no idea what their page “looks like” to people using other devices. Which leads us to the question of what exactly constitutes “accessible” HTML.

What is accessible HTML?

For our purposes, we’ll define accessible HTML as code that makes pages available to text-only browsers, thus also rendering the pages available to alternative browsing methods such as text-to-speech, large print and Braille.


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