Introduction to Screen Readers
One of the major points we emphasize is the concept of accessibility. As you design your website, it is essential to remember that people of different abilities will be accessing your site. Poor design can create barriers to accessibility. To illustrate this concept, today we will discuss screen readers and how your website's features can help or hinder their performance.
A screen reader is a software application that interprets the content on a computer screen to a format that can be accessed by visually impaired people. Commonly, screen readers convert visual text to spoken words to which the person can listen.
Here is a highly informative video showing a screen reader in action:
As demonstrated in the video, the layout of a website is important to its accessibility. The distinction between titles and body text becomes essential to a site's ease of access. It can be tempting to use the "Title" element to make text big and bold, but if the content is not actually a title, the screen reader becomes less effective in examining the content of a page.
If you would like to edit the size and boldness of text to emphasize it, edit the text of the "Paragraph" element to do so rather than using the "Title" element. Make your text bold, italicized, underlined, a different color, larger, or smaller, all from the blue toolbar that appears as you edit the content of the "Paragraph" element. For instructions on how to do so, visit our First Elements page of our Online Training Guide: http://www.people.ua.edu/first-elements.html
For more information about accessibility, visit our Accessibility Guidelines page: http://www.people.ua.edu/accessibility-guidelines.html
There, you will find a fun and educational infographic on the best design practices for your website.
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