How to make the weblog more accessible for people using vocalization software.

Jim Byrne
Fri, 13 Dec 2002 15:12:46 +0000

You should find lots of useful information on the Making Connections website

Making a weblog accessible is no different from making any other website
accessible - flexible design is the key.

Ensure that you don't get in the way of  the users ability to set their own
browser preferences, e.g. don't use absolute units to set font sizes (
pixels or pts are absolute, em units or percentages are relative units - use
relative units)

Ensure that users can set their own text and background colours.

If there is lots of navigation on the left or at the top of each page,
provides some way of jumping over the navigation straight to content (see for solutions)

Don't use the font tag to set fonts or sizes - use style sheets instead -
ideally use style sheets for layout as well (I know that's difficult but
now's the time to start experimenting if you haven't tried before)

Use HTML as it was intended - i.e. put your headings within Header tags,
your paragraphs within paragraph tags.
Add descriptive labels to images, particularly navigation images - the
labels should describe the content of the page being linked to. Add empty
alt tags to decorative images, i.e. alt=" " (that's a space)

Validate your HTML and CSS.

Reading a web page is a very 'linear' experience for someone using a screen
reader - sighted users can scan quickly - it's less easy for someone using a
screen reader. Bear that in mind when you are laying out your pages.

Anyway, I'll not go on, there's lots about accessible design on the web and
on the Making Connections Unit site - happy learning.

All the best,

on 12/13/02 2:54 PM, Don Saklad at wrote:

> How would I make the weblog more accessible for people with limited
> vision using vocalization software?...
> Most of the information around the web about improving accessibility
> is complicated. Maybe the templates themselves could be improved
> by people providing the templates.

Jim Byrne Project Director, The Making Connections Unit, Glasgow Caledonian
University, Glasgow G4 OBA, 0141 331 3893

Everything you need to know about publishing accessible information on the

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