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After about a one year application process, I have been accepted as an RNIB Computer Volunteer. This involves learning lots about the technology partially sighted or blind people use. Some new terms to me are:

  • Talking Books
  • Electronic Braille Display
  • Electronic Reading Aids
  • Low Tech / No Tech Aids and Equipment
  • Notetaking equipment
  • Producing Braille and Tactile Images
  • Speech Output Systems
  • Video Magnifiers

I’m looking forward to helping out where and when I can and hope I can make a difference to blind users. As a web developer, one of the things that propelled me into volunteering for the RNIB was understanding how blind users used the web. There is much talk about web accessibility and many reasons supporting the case for accessible web sites other than for blind users. An additional benefit of creating accessible web sites is that search engines love an accessible web site, which makes for a good business case for taking the time markup content in an accessible way. If a search engine can read your page easily, assistive technology should be able to too.

Before I sign off, have you tried Google Accessible Search? Web sites that are more accessible appear higher in the results, plus it doesn’t feature Sponsored Links.

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