Help Visually Impaired Visitors to View Your Website
Article source: http://www.selfseo.com/. Used with author's permission.
The internet offers freedom for visually impaired people and people with other types of disabilities. It offers them the opportunity to go shopping, talk with friends, run a business, and generally stay informed. This is something that not many people with good eyesight think about. For an experience that many of us view as primarily visual it is hard to grasp the importance of good content and a well designed site for people with these types of disabilities. However for web designers and SEO practitioners this should be of prime importance. Unfortunately, often it is not.
There has been great advanced in assistive technology recently for the 10+ million of Americans who are visually impaired. This includes screen readers and Braille devices which give them an alternative way to view a site. I was involved in a demonstration of this technology recently which is very impressive. Unfortunately the results from badly designed sites or poorly optimized sites greatly reduce the user experience of the visually impaired. Keyword stuffing, poorly written content, gibberish alt tags, stuffer anchor text, and graphical designs all weigh in to reduce the experience and make web sites, in some cases, almost impossible to comprehend.
Many web designers and SEO practitioners are not supportive of this group's needs. They have been slowly coming around to the fact that great content offers an enhanced experience for the human visitor and for the search engine spiders. However by taking this a step further and incorporating techniques that aid assistive technology, rather than bog it down, they will be on their way to offering a first rate experience for all groups of internet users.
Let's make a stand to help the quality of life for people with disabilities. Whether you are a site owner, web designer or SEO practitioner become informed of the needs of ALL of your user groups. Work to raise the awareness of their needs in your community and your industry. By making these efforts we will be doing our part help to improve the quality of life for disabled users. Is there any more noble cause?
Copyright (c) James Peggie James Peggie is the Director of Marketing for Elixir Systems - a search engine marketing agency located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Their website is located at http://www.elixirsystems.com and their blog is http://searchblog.elixirsystems.com