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A web accessibility overlay is a way to increase the accessibility of your website to people with disabilities, such as blindness and low vision. These overlays can assist in providing information about what’s happening on the page or where elements are located on a page.

How To Implement Web Accessibility Overlays In Your Design Process

When designing your website, it is important to understand that some users may experience difficulty using the site. This could be because of disabilities or a lack of skills. You can ensure that all your web design work is accessible with overlays by following these three steps:

  • Choose an overlay: A variety of options exist for accessibility overlays, including text-to-speech, screen magnification, and background audio.
  • Decide what information is most helpful to your users: Start by analyzing what you want your website visitors to know about the page they are visiting. Think about common questions or concerns they might have, such as where items are located on a page or how to use a feature.
  • Determine the frequency of updates: An overlay that is constantly changing might be distracting to your users. A more controlled approach may suit your project better, such as the changes happening at certain time intervals.

Choosing an Accessibility Overlay

The following list provides some examples of accessibility overlays you can choose from depending on what you need for your website:

  • Screen reader: This type of overlay is used to read out the contents on your website.
  • Magnification: Using this overlay, you can magnify portions of a web page so users can see those areas more clearly.
  • Background sound: If you need to provide instructions or keep users informed about important updates on your site, background sound can be helpful.
  • Background video: This overlay is like having a silent movie playing behind your website’s content. Like background sound, it can provide regular updates to users if necessary.
  • Text-to-speech: This overlay uses technology that reads out the contents of your website in an automated voice. You can adjust the speed and tone of the voice to suit your users.

How To Decide What Information Is Needed

Analyze your website and think about what you want your users to know about it. The following list provides some examples of information that may be helpful for your website:

  • Location of content: Where can users find certain elements on a page? Using an overlay, you can provide information about the location of different parts of your website.
  • Functionality: What features are available on a page? You can provide this information to users through an overlay.
  • In-page navigation: Users may get lost trying to navigate your site. An overlay can help them understand where they are and safely get back home.
  • Website navigation: Do users know where to find other parts of your website? If not, you might want to include an overlay that keeps them informed.

How To Determine The Frequency Of Updates

If necessary, you can set up your overlays, so they update regularly. However, some changes may distract users, and they might prefer a less disruptive experience. For example, you can update your overlay at certain time intervals or change it once per session.