Digital Environments: CW1 - Andru Dunn

Web Access for Blindness


The DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) was passed in 1995, stating that: “disabled people should not be treated less favourably than other people when accessing services. This duty extends to the provision of websites where a website falls within the definition of a service under the terms of the DDA.” [1]

In 2002, the DRC published a Code of Practice entitled “Rights of Access — Goods, Facilities, Services and Premises” to accompany Part 3 of the DDA. The Code makes explicit reference to websites as “services” in accordance with the DDA’s definition of the term. [1]

A number of things can be integrated into the browsing experience of the Internet for someone who is blind. As technology within the Internet progresses so does the technology used to help those who are disabled. However, as new technologies are developing at such a rapid rate in this tech-era, the accessibility for those impaired users of the web can be significantly reduced.

There are a number of peripherals to help blind people browse the web. One example of these is a Screen Reader. A screen reader simply reads out the text on the page to the user upon command. This allows the user to understand the text they cannot read. This is not the only output although; the screen reader itself outputs the speech and also a braille output for those users who may be hard of hearing or deaf.

Many users of the Internet that are blind scan across webpages by tabbing through the page to quickly navigate around the page.

The webpages that contain information that isn’t text should mostly contain ‘alternate text’ information. This is information that the blind user can access through the screen reader. For example for a picture, the picture’s alternate text should describe what the picture contains.