Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Web Accessiblity Wednesday: Color Dependency

This is part of a continuing series of web accessibility tips for IT personnel, web managers and web development groups. These tips can be used to review current website accessibility and to utilize in developing new websites with the hope of improving web accessibility for everyone.

Individuals with color-blindness or color deficiency may have difficulty in differentiating between certain color combinations. This affects approximately 7% of males and .1% of females. Difficulty in differentiating red and green is most common - these are most often the colors used to convey meaning or differences. While using appropriate colors, providing good color contrast, and not using color as the only means of conveying content is important for those with color-blindness or color deficiency, these techniques may also improve accessibility to those who are blind (screen readers do not typically identify color) or have low vision (these users may override page colors to make the page more readable). An easy test for color dependency is to print the page on a black and white printer and see if any information is missing when the color is removed from the page.

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