Lesson 2: How People with Disabilities Access the Web


One of the groups most dependent on standard-based web design is people with disabilities. Consider the following examples:

Learner Outcomes

At the completion of this exercise:


  1. Videos: View and discuss the following videos, which provide examples of how people with disabilities access computers and other technologies, and the problems they may encounter when trying to access web content.
  2. Simulation Visit and evaluate several websites and discuss whether some users might have difficulty accessing these sites. Ask your instructor for the URLs of websites that make particularly good examples of either accessible or inaccessible design. Explore ways of determing whether sites are inaccessible. Here are some examples:
    • Turn off graphics in your browser to perceive each page as a blind user might encounter it.
    • If you have access to a screen reader application, turn off the monitor and try accessing websites audibly (some operating systems come equipped with free screen readers, such as Microsoft Narrator in Windows).
    • Try accessing a page without using your mouse (if you can't resist, disconnect your mouse!)
    • Try accessing a multimedia presentation with the sound turned down.
  3. Discuss with your instructor what you learned about how the web is experienced by people with disabilities.

Resources/Online Documents

All done?

Great! Proceed to the next lesson.