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Accessibility

How a blind person will "see" your Web page – audio comparison of inaccessible
and accessible Web pages

The two Web pages in the following table appear to be similar. But to a blind person who has to listen to your Web page
there is a great difference. How you construct the pages can mean the difference between a tedious and obscure rendering of the
information in the page, and one that gets the message across. To hear the difference, listen to the audio files for each of the pages.

Note that the illustrations of the pages here are probably too small to read. Reading along with the audio often provides contextual
cues that make a page easier to understand. The true audio user who cannot see the page does not have these cues, so to get the
best understanding of their situation, it is much better to not read along when listening.

Inaccessible Web Page   Accessible Web Page

Web page audio file 90sec Excerpt (750 K)

Web page audio file - 192sec Complete Page (2 Megs)

 

Web page audio file 94sec Excerpt (710 K)

Web page audio file - 254sec Complete Page (1.5 Megs)

inaccessible   accessible
The inaccessible Web page illustrated in the first column is representative of much current practice on the Internet. Graphics were used for some of the text, and tables were used to provide layout. Clear blank images were used to help stabilize the layout. HTML structural syntax is ignored. The page HTML is invalid.   The accessible page illustrated in the right column is constructed using text for all text elements, a single image for the one needed graphic. Standard HTML elements were used to construct the page - headings, paragraphs and definition lists in this case. Additional information was also coded into the page to provide some additional information to the listener. The page was validated against the HTML 4.01 standard.

For information on accessibility please visit the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative.

Note: The audio examples were created using the pwWebSpeak audio browser from the IsSound Corporation.

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