Input / Output to support visual difficulties

Using a Screen Reader and/or tactile interface

A screen reader is a program that reads out a computer display for those who are blind or visually impaired but this type of app can also allow anyone to have access to content without looking at the screen.  It is important to understand that a screen reader will read out all the content including menus, buttons and actions undertaken.  This is very different from text to speech that reads the text you choose to highlight or just content within the displayed section.

Using a Screenreader on Mobile Devices from MOOCAP on Vimeo.

The usual touch interface of a tablet or mobile phone does not always offer sufficient feedback for someone who is both blind and deaf (although advances in haptics are happening) but the the use of braille is available via additional devices often using Bluetooth connections.

Braille Input on Mobile Devices from MOOCAP on Vimeo.

Watch out for these barriers

  • Images, controls, and other structural elements with no equivalent text alternatives.
  • Missing visual and non-visual orientation cues, page structure, and other navigational aids.
  • Video content with no text or audio alternatives, or an audio-description track.
  • Inconsistent, unpredictable, and overly complicated navigation mechanisms and functions.
  • PDFs offered as downloads that are not created with accessibility in mind. Lacking appropriate tags, headings, reading order etc.