An accessibility overlay is a great way to provide more information for users of your website who have vision disabilities or other conditions that prevent them from being able to read the text, as well as benefiting website owners in many other ways. Its goal is to provide information for screen readers and other assistive technologies used by people with disabilities – this means providing for blind users, those who use voice recognition software or mobile devices, as well as those who suffer from color-blindness or dyslexia.
An accessibility overlay is a semi-transparent window that sits on top of the website and provides additional information for any elements on the page that have been identified as having an accessibility issue. To best demonstrate this, I will show you a few different ways they can be used.
Accessibility Overlay For Users With Color-Blindness Or Dyslexia
Accessibility Overlay For Users With Low Bandwidth
Accessibility Overlay For Users With Screen Readers And Mobile Devices
Even on a website where all the information is available without an overlay, there are sometimes elements that can’t be identified as such by screen readers or mobile devices – for those users. We can build out an accessibility overlay right into the website itself using HTML5 to provide additional information. This can be invaluable when it comes to providing additional context to particularly complex pages.
All of these overlays should also include fallback text for non-assistive technologies in order to ensure that everyone has access to the same amount of content no matter how they view your website. Beyond even one of these overlays, it would be beneficial to provide other “hints” or “shortcuts” for your users using HTML5 markup.
Get Creative With Your Accessibility Overlays
Beyond all of these common implementations, the sky is the limit on how you use an accessibility overlay – it could be as simple as explaining what a particular link will do or providing hints on how to interact with your website! By making your website more accessible and giving additional information to those who need it.