Don’t Change the Way I Look

Link formatting should be consistent across your entire website and should be controlled from a master CSS file.

Links are usually displayed in a different color to help them stand out visually from the ordinary text on a web page. Usually, they also appear underlined. Why do both? The contrast between the link and ordinary text colors may seem clear to most people without vision issues, but for those with color blindness, the contrast may not be adequate. Therefore, the underline provides an additional visual clue to identify the text as a link. In addition, the link color may change depending on the state the link is in. There can be as many as four different colors, one for each link state as shown in the following table. Continue reading “Don’t Change the Way I Look”

Where Am I?

Plan your link destinations with the vision impaired in mind.

When you add a link to a page, you can control where the link’s content appears. By default, it replaces the content in the current tab/window that contains the link. In other words, you stay in the same place. However, the HTML <a>, or anchor tag, includes an attribute: target. This attribute allows you to open the new content in a different tab or a different window. It could even be a parent tab to the one in which the link appears. For most of us with no vision disabilities, that distinction may be obvious. However, for the vision impaired, especially the blind relying on a screen reader, jumping to another location could be a total mystery. The problem is this. If a vision-impaired person wants to return to the previous content after reading the new content, what do they do? Do they press the go-back arrow? That only works when the new content replaced the prior content. Do they click the close box in the upper right corner? That only works if you display the new content in a new window. What if the new content replaced a parent window/tab? Getting back to where they were can be frustrating. Continue reading “Where Am I?”

I Need More Space!

Adding space around your links helps those with physical disabilities that make using a mouse to click on screen items a challenge.

No, this is not a blog about Elon Musk or NASA. Rather, it is about how you position links on your webpage. One disability that is often forgotten when building web pages affects those with physical disabilities such as the difficulty in using a mouse to select and click on-screen items. When links appear too close together, the site visitor may accidentally click on the wrong item when they try to point and click on a link that is too close to other links. Continue reading “I Need More Space!”

Suspicious Text

Suspicious text refers to links that do not inform the user what the link is about.

Sure, there are plenty of good online software solutions to help you fix your web pages to make them ADA compliant. However, there is a lot you can do before spending a dime. Therefore, in this first set of blog posts, I will show you how to adjust a few of your habits to make improve the readability and ADA compliance of your web pages at no cost. Let us start by looking at links. Continue reading “Suspicious Text”