vision

The percentage of under-16s fell.The Fight for Sight organisation estimates that a third of people over 65 have “difficulties with their eyesight”, while the RNIB puts the number of people who start to lose their sight in the UK at 100 every day.The 180-Day WebSight Pledge

PC Pro has joined forces with Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to encourage companies to get their websites and apps to a minimum standard. Click here for all the details, and to take the pledge.

I myself was recently diagnosed as suffering from wet macular degeneration, making me just one of half a million people in the UK with the eyesight-warping condition, for which there’s no cure.

Combine the ageing but IT-savvy population with the statistical chance of visual impairment, and the consequences of the way in which websites and apps are coded start to become apparent.

A visual impairment doesn’t necessarily mean total blindness, and limited vision presents a different set of problems when using IT than those facing a totally blind person.

Yet all too often, as long as an application can be accessed by screen-reader software, the developer will consider it to be an “access-for-all” job well done.By ignoring the requirements of low-vision users, developers are effectively shutting out large numbers of people and, as already stated, that number is sadly growing all the time.

Low vision isn’t a problem that will go away if you ignore it, but as a developer you can make a difference to the lives of those of us who are cursed by it and increase your potential userbase at the same time.

Looking through my eyes before you make any well-intentioned usability changes to your website or app, make sure you talk to people with low vision, as well as the organisations that represent them and don’t forget to test the results with the same usability groups before rolling them out.

Get to know what using an average application or visiting an average website might be like for someone with low vision. Although simulators exist, most are designed to show difficulties for people with colour blindness. 

Source: PC PRO