Modern technology has revolutionized access to
information by individuals with print disabilities, such as blindness or
dyslexia. Computer software is available that reads materials from a
computer screen including, among others, JAWS and Window-Eyes. Before
the advent of these technologies, live readers or recorded audio books
When creating a website, it is important to
remember that the structure of the presented information determines how
readable the site will be by screen reading software. Accessible web
design ensures that the site is readable by this software, and that
audio portions of the site are accessible for deaf or hearing impaired
users (e.g. captions, transcript). Everyone designing and/or modifying
websites should investigate the principles of accessible web design.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed, as a part of its Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), web accessibility guidelines and techniques.
These resources and other important information are available to aid in
the design of websites that are accessible by all users.
For more information on accessible web design:
The federal government and the state of Texas both require official sites to be accessible by all viewers. Rice University’s Web Services department can assist with web design features to ensure website accessibility.