Interactive Web Accessibility: The New and Improved Mousetrap?
I should start off by saying that I am NOT posting this to diminish current assistive technology in use as it has paved the road we are on right now. It is just that when you find a new and better-built mousetrap, you cannot wait to tell the world about it IMMEDIATELY.
Assistive technology (AT) already plays a significant role in my life. in I am extremely blessed to have my screen magnifier/reader. Without it, I would probably never touch a computer again. However, my relationship with screen readers is a love-hate relationship.
The screen reader’s voice sounds like a monotone robotic voice lacking inflection, emotion, pitch, or variations in the tone and rhythmical flow/pattern of the human voice.
Enter CL Design: Founded and operated by Principal Designer, Chris Lona, that is revolutionizing how those of us with motor, sensory, physical, auditory, visual, and/or cognitive conditions access and use the web. CL Design’s game changing technology empowers people on the web with its straightforward, easily understandable instructions. As a visually impaired engineer, Chris Lona not only understands barriers; he possesses the skill, experience, and leadership to make a difference.
I miss the days when I could surf and explore the web like I did when I was fully sighted. But my screen reader’s robot voice takes away from the experience as it will read verbatim the HTML, CSS, PHP, etc. code right in the middle of the content I am trying to access. It is soooo distracting! And I am one of the lucky ones. I have a screen reader/magnifier. I am grateful for it and magnify is always on but not the sound. I only use the sound as a last resort and for testing my sites. Although not intentional, screen readers often result in the OPPOSITE of our goal to make the web as level a playing field as we can for ALL levels of ability.
It seems that as a community, folks with low vision have come to accept a substandard user experience, but experiencing Chris Lona’s design, I now KNOW we CAN do so much better!!
If your website does not already have IWA, take a serious look at the ROI that using this technology can do to convert “surfers” into loyal customers, It is the best investment I have made to my site and I hope this inspires you to check out what your “NEW” new normal can feel like when you are empowered on the web!
Please check out EmpowerPeopleOnline.com to experience the magic for yourself!