Out there in the real world, disabled access is something that receives a great deal of attention. It's often the law in many countries and states for instance that commercial and state owned buildings should have access for disabled individuals, and even when this isn't the case businesses recognize the importance of being able to provide access for wheelchairs in case they otherwise should lose out on custom unnecessarily.
Well the web should be no different, and though your site probably already has access for people in wheelchairs, you also need to think about other disabilities and whether or not they are able to enjoy your website.
Specifically in the case of a website that means you need to provide alternative options for the visually impaired and you need to think about whether someone who has difficulty seeing will be able to read and navigate your site.
If not, then you will be turning away a huge number of visitors that might otherwise have been converted to paying customers. Of course this then becomes even more important if your website is for someone who has difficulty seeing such as a forum for the blind.
To this end there are various things to consider and here we will look at some tips to help you set your site up with this in mind.
Fonts and Colors
Of course the most obvious thing to ask yourself when creating a website that's accessible is whether or not it's simple and easy to read - which will come down mostly to the font you use and the colors.
Make sure then that your website uses bright colors that are easy to see for the things you want people to click - such as your navigation. Meanwhile ensure that the contrast between your text and the background is sheer enough for people to make it out.
Black on white = good, red on blue = bad. Meanwhile make sure that you choose a font that is easily legible and familiar - such as aerial or even impact, and that you make it large enough to be easy to see.
Of course you can also opt to make your font and colors adjustable, which you can do using Java or PHP. If you choose to go this route though of course it's important to put the button in a prominent and highly visible place so it's easy to find for those who need it.
Working With Dictation Software
Many people who have difficulty reading sites on the web will get around the problem by using dictation software that reads out the content of each page. Now you need to consider whether or not your site is optimized for this sort of software.
For instance then you need to ensure that your text is stored as text - in other words that it is written into your HTML and not included in an image - as dictation software can't read the content stored in images which requires text recognition and is currently too slow.
If your header is currently a JPG then, understand that this won't be read out. Meanwhile you should also make sure to include alt tags on all of your images - the reason being that this will enable the software to read out at least what the image is of.