Some advice for making any website more accessible…
Disability should not prevent access to websites. PC and MAC computers both have varying inbuilt settings that help all users access and enter information.
We have used Microsoft Windows 7 operating systems as examples but there will be similar features and support in all operating systems (please consult your manuals or online help to find out specifics for your system).
In Windows 7 there is an 'Ease of Access' Centre which gives quick links to accessibility features - simply press the Windows logo key and 'U' to open the centre
This is found in modern versions of Windows and allows the screen to be seen more clearly.
Make webpages easier to see
For better visibility of webpages you can change the fonts, font sizes, text and background colors, or zoom in on a webpage to enlarge it, or zoom out to see more of the page on screen.
Zoom - with a webpage open, press Ctrl+Plus sign (+) to zoom in, or Ctrl+Minus sign (-) to zoom out.
Change font size - In Internet Explorer press the Alt key to display the menu bar. Tap or click View, and then tap or click Text size.
Change the font formatting, and screen colors - in Internet Explorer press the Alt key to display the menu bar, tap or click Internet Options from the Tools menu. Look for Appearance settings.
Again this is available as standard in modern versions of Windows and acts as a simple screen reader.
Many modern devices and operating systems (e.g. Windows or MAC) that have touch screen technology will provide an on-screen keyboard which allows entry using the mouse or other pointing device rather than the keyboard. The video below gives information about Windows 7 settings.
Subtitles on videos
Many of our videos on this site will be presented with closed caption subtitles. For YouTube videos click on the Closed Caption option in the bottom right corner.
For mobile devices you may need to adjust your settings to allow this. This setting can be found in your Accessibility section of Settings. (e.g. iPhone Settings > General > Accessibility > Subtitles & Captioning > Closed Captions ON/OFF
Touch screen technology
Many modern computers and particularly mobile devices allow you to use fingers to navigate which may be easier than using a traditional keyboard and mouse.
Contrast can be increased by changing the ‘THEME’ on your computer.
In Windows 7 press the Windows logo key with 'U' to open up the Ease of Access centre then look for 'Set up High Contrast'
This is available as standard on modern operating systems and helps you enter information using the voice. Some training will be required so that the system recognises your voice and you improve your understanding of how it works best.
Watch this video about how to use Speech Recognition to get around your PC. (To view captions, tap or click the closed captioning button )
Make the mouse easier to use
The settings can be adjusted so that the mouse can be seen more easily; e.g. it can be made bigger and move more slowly if necessary.
In Windows 7 open up the Ease of Access centre - hold down the Windows logo button with 'U' then you can:
- Change the color and size of mouse pointers. You can use these options to make the mouse pointer larger, or change the color to make it easier to see.
- Turn on Mouse Keys. You can use this option to control the movement of the mouse pointer by using the numeric keypad.
- Activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse. This option makes it easier to select and activate a window by pointing at it with the mouse rather than by clicking it.
Use text or visual alternatives for sounds
System sounds can be replaced by visual cues and display text captions for spoken dialog in multimedia programs.
In Windows 7 open up the Ease of Access centre - hold down the Windows logo button with 'U' then Use text or visual alternatives for sounds. From here you can:
- Turn on visual notifications for sounds. This option replaces system sounds with visual cues, such as a flash on the screen, so you can see notifications even when they're not heard. You can also choose how you want sound notifications to warn you.
- Turn on text captions for spoken dialog. With this option, Windows will display text captions in place of sounds to indicate that activity is happening on your PC (for example, when a document starts or finishes printing).
Keyboard shortcuts and sticky keys
These alleviate the need to press more than one key simultaneously.
In Windows 7 open up the Ease of Access centre - hold down the Windows logo button with 'U' then Make the keyboard easier to use.
Turn off website styles
It maybe that you are struggling with the style, colours, fonts or contrasts of a particular site.
All popular browsers such as Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox, allow you to turn off the styling usually using the ‘Disable CSS’ or ‘No Style’ setting. Use an internet search to find out how to do this for your browser.
In Internet Explorer 11 press the Alt key to display the menu bar. Select View > Style > No Style
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