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FW: Colours to aid people with dyslexia (was: Using CSS to create zoom layouts for low-vision people)

From: Patrick Lauke <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 14:35:15 -0000
Message-ID: <3A1D23A330416E4FADC5B6C08CC252B90113C1E3@misnts16.mis.salford.ac.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> From: Andy Budd 
[snip]
> Doesn't that cause a bit of an accessibility catch 22 where 
> people with 
> visual impairments need a high contrast but people with dyslexia 
> require a lower contrast?

Of course it does. It's really about finding a balance where the contrast is not too high, but still high enough (e.g. running it through http://www.juicystudio.com/services/colourcontrast.asp as a rough guideline, and making sure that the difference between the two colours falls well within the ideal range).

In severe cases or low vision and dyslexia, the requirements obviously can become mutually exclusive, and one size can't fit all. The trick is to be considerate to all users to a certain extent, not going overboard to cater for one audience at the detriment of another. You could offer alternative stylesheets that specifically cater to a particular set of users (e.g. a separate "high contrast / large text" one), and ensure that users are still able to make their own adjustments if they need to (which should be easy enough, as using CSS inherently makes it "overridable" - either via user stylesheets, or at a more basic level through accessibility settings in the browser that tell it to ignore site colours and apply system colours / user defined colours instead).

Sorry, lengthy reply, but you get the idea.

Incidentally, Joe Clark's latest ALA article touches at least in part on this.

Patrick
p.s.: did you specifically want this off-list, or can/should I forward the copy to the IG?
Received on Wednesday, 12 January 2005 14:39:25 GMT

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