Lesson 2: How People with Disabilities Access the Web


One of the groups of users who benefits most from 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 each of the Web Accessibility Perspectives videos available on the W3C website. These videos 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 determining whether sites are inaccessible. Here are some examples:
    • Turn off images 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 or VoiceOver in Mac OS X). There are also free screen readers available, such as NVDA.
    • Try accessing a page without using your mouse (if you can't resist, disconnect your mouse!)
    • Try watching a video with the sound muted.

Resources/Online Documents

All done?

Great! Proceed to Module 4.