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Chapter 15. Supporting Accessibility wit... > Once More, with Feeling: Good Design...

Once More, with Feeling: Good Design Is Accessible Design

CSS is a powerful addition to the repertoire for accessible Web design. We’ve shown the benefits of distinguishing content and structure from presentation and layout and shown how styles can be used to enhance accessibility by highlighting important structural elements of the document. We’ve discussed font selection and spacing as well as color and contrast. We’ve explained that you can use CSS positioning to replace layout tables, making navigation schemes more accessible and sites easier to maintain. We’ve also shown how important it is to include individuals with different disabilities in user testing—that’s the best way to be sure you’re aware of any unintended consequences that your design decisions may have. Especially when there’s a chance that specific effects created to serve one group of users may pose problems for others, user testing is the only way to tell whether you’ve devised a viable solution. It’s also important to test your CSS with several browsers since there are still significant inconsistencies in the way different browsers render some styles. And since there’s no way to be absolutely certain that a design meets the needs of every single user, keep in mind that another benefit of using CSS is that individual users can override your style sheets and replace them with style sheets tailored specifically for them.

We’ve reached the end of this book, but the journey toward maximum accessibility is just beginning. The Web is what it is—a remarkable, enormous, fast-growing, constantly changing phenomenon— because so many thousands, even millions, of talented people like you have poured their creativity and energy into inventing and reinventing it many times over the past decade. As a result, the Web has helped to bring about amazing transformations in business, education, and government as well as many other aspects of society. But it’s not over yet: we invite you to join us in reinventing the Web yet again, this time as a resource that’s fully accessible anywhere, anytime, to anyone—and everyone. And of course we invite you to join us on the Web at http://www.maximumaccessibility.com, where we’ll keep you up to date on new trends and developments—and where you can tell us about your success on the road to accessibility.


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