Common Web Accessibility Issues Faced By Visually Impaired

Posted by D2i Team on June 28, 2022

It’s well-known that accessibility to websites is a fundamental human right. Apart from exposing your site to a wider audience of more than 1 billion disabled people, accessibility best practices are in line with other business objectives including usability, SEO as well as mobile-friendly designs, and many more. The standard related to accessibility is mainly set through WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).

Visual disabilities cover a wide spectrum of diseases and disorders such as complete blindness, refractive errors, color blindness as well as age-related conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and also impairments such as amblyopia or strabismus.

Accessibility Issues Commonly Associated with People with Visual Impairment

Here are the most frequently encountered digital problems that people who are visually impaired face when they use a website that isn’t accessible or programmed to work with assistive technology.

HTML layout

Certain screen readers are able to discern and interpret the CSS of an internet webpage. Others depend on HTML that is not styled. This may cause problems for screen readers when it determines which content should be read first at the top of the screen. To avoid this problem it is recommended that all HTML should be organized exactly the way the printed version would be organized so that it is clear when reading from left to right and from top to the bottom.

Text contrast

The most frequent accessibility issue is the poor contrast in color between the text as well as background. Contrast is an important aspect of web accessibility because it aids users in recognizing the content of a webpage. As per WCAG 2, contrast is the variation of brightness that exists between two shades. Text with low contrast is a frequent accessibility problem, since people who have a low sensitivity to contrast, for example, older people or those who have color blindness might not be able to distinguish the difference between background and text in specific colors that have low contrast.

Low contrast can be a simple solution to fix it by changing your website’s layout and themes to more usable colors. There are a variety of accessible tools for free that you can utilize to ensure that there’s sufficient contrast between your content and your background.

Structure of the heading

Web users who have visual impairments seldom read the entire page. Instead, they also look through websites for relevant information making use of their screens readers to display headings. If the headings aren’t employed correctly or at all, the user won’t be able to find the information he/she’s seeking on the page. This is why you shouldn’t make use of headings for decoration and be placed them in ascending order on your page (H1, H1, H2, H3, and so on).

Non-HTML content

Issues with accessibility can also be extended to other documents that are hosted on websites. Non-HTML content, such as documents in PDF format, PowerPoint presentations, or Word documents, must also make as user-friendly as possible. There are methods to make these documents accessible. PDFs, for instance, are tagged to allow the use of screen readers, and PowerPoint and Word have an accessibility Checker feature within the software that allows you to create accessible documents.

JavaScript rendering

JavaScript was once completely accessible to screen readers, but nowadays, screen readers can use JavaScript. But it’s important to keep in mind that certain users might be using JavaScript disabled or are in a context (such as a workplace) where it’s off. Some users may also be using screens readers that are older that are unable to manage JavaScript. It is crucial to ensure that your site is working with JavaScript.

Accessibility of keyboards

Utilizing a mouse to navigate websites can be difficult, or even impossible for those who have visual impairments, so instead, they utilize the keyboard instead to browse. Individuals with visual impairments are able to navigate through websites using keys and keyboard shortcuts. But, websites must be well-organized information with proper heading structures and codes that allow users to use keyboards for all functionality and content such as hyperlinks, hyperlinks forms, and media controls.

Keyboard users make use of the tab button to navigate the webpage and, as they do there should be an indicator of the keyboard’s focus that indicates what page they are on the page. The indicators are displayed as a border or highlights around the targeted element, which helps people with poor vision to identify what they are doing on the website. It is essential that the website is designed to allow keyboard navigation, as the focus indicator must follow a logic-based reading order.

The difficulties with access are not uncommon but are fairly easy to correct and avoid once you’re aware of the issues. Learning the fundamentals of accessibility for websites and using the numerous accessibility auditing tools that are available. D2i Technology accessibility testing services will help you detect issues when they do happen to get overlooked and help you address the issues before your visitors get to them.

Do you want a comprehensive solution to accessibility on the web? D2i Technology accessibility testing company can help. Learn how we can assist you to create an accessible website by conducting a free audit of accessibility on the web.