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The "How to browse the web" Lesson is part of the full, Website Accessibility course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Beyond the keyboard and mouse, Jon reviews a number of ways in which a web can be accessed.

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Transcript from the "How to browse the web" Lesson

[00:00:00]
>> John: And one of the most exciting things, when I started getting into accessibility, was getting to check out all the different ways users browse the web. And I think most of us have been, since we got started with computers, on this very standard, maybe a mouse and a keyboard.

[00:00:16] And you use the mouse for all your precision stuff, and your keyboard for data entry, and that's all we've known as far as browsing the web. But there's actually a lot of different ways, and it's a real diversity of ways. There's a lot of people using a lot of different ways.

[00:00:30] So here are some of the ones that I think are most common and most interesting. There's a lot of keyboard-only users. One thing that we see very often is people with any kind of motor disability have a difficult time using a mouse and just have a much easier time with the keyboard, with hitting buttons at a time.

[00:00:47] So again, trying to ingrain the takeaways here is, do you have a site that can be used entirely with a keyboard? Do you have anywhere that you absolutely requires a mouse or no? And this includes signing up for a new account, logging in, checking out on a shopping cart, things like that.

[00:01:05] People use head wands and mouth sticks. These are pretty similar devices, one goes in-between your mouth and one goes on top of your head. Again, its the same as a finger for tapping, but again, less precision. So again, things like bigger click targets spacing around them, things like that would help a lot here.

[00:01:22] A single switch, this is, I think, one of the coolest pieces of technology. So a single switch, it really is just one button. There's no other way to hit it or hold it, anything like that. And so what you can do is if you imagine, like on your computer with those virtual keyboards that you can come up, and you can click on.

[00:01:39] So you would hit the single switch, and the virtual keyboard would come up, and it would start going through rows of the keyboard. So the F keys the number keys, the Q. Anyway, when you get to the row that you want, you hit the single switch again, and it switches into column mode, and then you can go through the column mode, and so between row and column, you can get the precision of a single key.

[00:01:58] So the big one here is, let's say we've all done some awesome work, and we have keyboard-only great workflow on our site. Is there any way we can make it a little faster? f you have a sign-up form at the bottom of your site, do users have to tab all the way through your entire website to get to the sign-up form?

[00:02:15] Things like that, and we're gonna cover some really good ways of doing that. And then probably, the biggest one are screen readers. So screen readers are a completely non-visual way of viewing websites. So it's a piece of software that sits on your computer, your phone, in your browser.

[00:02:31] And it basically parses all of the content of the site, and it starts reading it out to the user. The user can typically use the keyboard to them, cycle through options. So there you keyboard in, and then it's audio out. So again, making sure, does your site read nicely on a screen reader.

[00:02:49] And we're gonna talk about specifics as we go forward.