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What Kind of Disabilities Affect Use of the Web?

There are a number of different disabilities affect how someone experiences and interacts with web sites and web applications. Because of the Web’s highly visual nature, low vision and blindness get the most attention. Other disabilities are relevant, too: deafness, motor-control disabilities, and cognitive disabilities, among others.

Some disability challenges can be overcome or reduced by the use of assistive techonologies. These include screen readers, Braille displays, screen magnifiers, and head-mounter pointers. Web pages can be coded to facilitate the functioning of such devices. Other disabilities can be addressed directly by particular coding techniques. For instance, by ensuring the color is not the only way information is conveyed, a web site can be made accessible to people with color blindness without the need for any further assistive technology and still maintaining a visually attractive and engaging site. However accessibility is accomplished, almost all of the accommodations go unnoticed by sighted users.