Wise Advice For Web Masters….on ACCESSIBILITY

Call me wishful. I had an inspired moment yesterday. The web master for our city’s web site contacted me after I had sent in a complaint about not being able to ‘read’ a lot of stuff on the HRM site with my screen reading software. Screen reading software (like Jaws or Guide) enables someone who cannot see their monitor (like blind folk), to listen to a mechanical or synthesized  voice reading whatever is on the screen;  e-mail, web page etc.  At least, that’s what is suppose to happen in  theory. In practice, many web sites are ridiculously difficult or impossible to navigate with Jaws. There is a movement afoot towards web accessibility standards. Retail giant, Target in the USA is in a legal battle with the NFB (National Federation of the Blind) over their inaccessible web site. Hmm.  Here’s my wise advice today for web masters (so that they can  ‘test’ their own sites for accessibility): go to the Freedom scientific site…

http://freedomscientific.com/fs_downloads/jaws.asp

 and download a FREE trial version of Jaws software. Learn to use it. Then turn your computer monitors OFF and navigate your own site using Jaws. Try the links, the documents, opening pages etc.  Have fun!

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