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Chapter 15. Supporting Accessibility wit... > Beneath the Visual Aspects of the We...

Beneath the Visual Aspects of the Web

Up to this point we’ve concentrated heavily on designing to meet the needs of people who use screen readers and talking browsers—people who don’t see the screen and who use the keyboard, not the mouse or some other pointing device, to interact with the Web and other applications. This is important because many other kinds of assistive technologies, including voice recognition systems, switches, and other alternative input devices, are “mapped” to the keyboard. That is, the user’s actions are “translated” into keystrokes and then carried out.

But of course the Web is an intensely visual environment, and most people—including most people with disabilities—interact with it visually. In this chapter, we’ll talk about some of the visual aspects of accessible design. We’ll pay special attention to the needs of people with low vision and people with cognitive disabilities such as dyslexia, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). These disabilities are often called “invisible” because they can be difficult for even trained observers to detect, but they may have a significant impact on the way individuals use computers in general and the Web in particular.


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