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Those clever folks at the Royal National Institute of Blind People have teamed up with the Web Accessibility Tools Consortium and The Paciello Group to produce a toolbar for Internet Explorer that exposes some of its usually buried accessibility options.

It’s not for developers so much as end-users; the RNIB say

The Surf Right Toolbar is really for anyone who wants to adjust the way they view content on the web to make it easier to read. This could include people with mild disabilities, the elderly, people with reading problems, cognitive problems, using dial-up, photosensitivity and so on.

Nice big buttons make it easy to turn off Flash and JavaScript, change font sizes, and there are some alternate stylesheets built-in.

I reckon it’s a really useful tool (Patrick Lauke and I called for such a toolbar two years ago at Geek In The Park) so go and download it and give the developers your feedback.

Your Replies

#1 On June 20th, 2008 8:14 pm Marc replied:

Thats brilliant.

I’ve watched a video where I think the main singer from “Sting” has a blind daughter and is pushing people to create “blind friendly” websites.

Anything that helps those unfortunate enough to not experience the full web is a great addition in my eyes.

#2 On June 27th, 2008 3:34 am Oric replied:

“make it easy to turn off Flash and JavaScript”

Since when blind people want cheap website ?

#3 On June 27th, 2008 7:24 am dominic shiells replied:

smart idea from the RNIB

#4 On July 3rd, 2008 4:41 am Florent V. replied:

Oric, blind people do not want cheap websites. But they do want websites that work for them. Many (good) web applications and JavaScript-heavy websites were developped in such a way that they offer all of the basic content and functionnality in no-JavaScript mode (JavaScript then supplements this base to improve the user experience). But there are few web applications and JavaScript-heavy websites that implement Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) 1, so that blind users will be able to decently use the website with JavaScript turned on.

Plus there are other situations when you want CSS styles, JavaScript or Flash turned off, whether you’re a blind user or not.

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