What are the accessibility needs of disabled persons?
by Jojo Esposa
Persons with disabilities have varied specific needs in order to access the Internet. They are as follows:
1. Visually Impaired users – Internet users who have no sight at all require a special software program called screen reader. It reads the content of the web page, specifically, the HTML code of the page, back to them. These special programs analyze the codes and decipher what needs to be read aloud and what should be ignored.
2. Partial/poor eyesight users – In order to see the content of the website clearly, persons who have difficulty seeing need to be able to control the size of the text. You can make the letters bigger without going over the edges of the screen.
3. Color blind users – They are persons who cannot see the difference between specific colors. There are two major types of color blindness: those who have difficulty distinguishing between orange (levels of redness) and green, and those who cannot separate between
blue and yellow.
4. Hearing impaired users – This group includes those individuals who are hard of hearing. Deaf users are able to access the Internet in much the same way as hearing persons except for the audio content. If the information within the website requires a person to hear it, then
the deaf cannot benefit from it.
5. Mobility impaired users – These people may have difficulty or inability to use their hands, including tremors, muscle slowness, loss of fine muscle control, etc., due to conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or stroke.
6. Learning disabled users – These are people who have difficulty grasping information (dyslexia, dyscalculia, etc.), and cognitive disabilities of various origins affecting memory, attention, developmental “maturity,” problem-solving and logic skills.
7. Epileptic users – These people must always be careful to avoid seeing flickering or flashing effects. These may trigger-off epileptic seizures.
8. Senior citizen users – Although they don’t belong to persons with disabilities, older people acquire disabilities as they progress in age. Their eye visibility might decrease. We need to shout to them in order to be heard. They may eventually have limitations in movement.