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Make yourself familiar with different problems people face when interacting online.

Try these activities to gain some insight. You can do them at home, or at your desk:

Before you begin using it, it's important to remember that simulation software:

But used correctly, simulation software can be very helpful by raising awareness.

This is because it allows people to experience some of the every-day challenges faced by people with disability.

Simulators we use include:

NoCoffee Vision Simulator - a free Google Chrome extension.

It can be helpful for understanding the problems faced by people with slight to extreme vision problems, such as:

  • colourblindness
  • low contrast sensitivity
  • visual snow, glare, ghosting and cataracts
  • rapid, involuntary, oscillatory movement of the eyes
  • obstructed central vision (glaucoma).

Metamatrix Web Disability Simulator - a free Google Chrome extension.

It allows you to simulate:

  • dyslexia
  • Parkinsons
  • colour blindness
  • issues with concentration
  • low vision.

Install and manage extensions - Chrome Web Store Help

NVDA screen reader is free but does need to be downloaded. Download NVDA screen reader (NV Access).

If you've never used a screen reader before, learning all the keyborad shortcuts can take time. For guidance see NVDA keyboard shortcuts (Deque University).

A good start is to:

  • use tabbed browsing to see if things are announcing as they should
  • test heading structure (hold down 'Insert' and 'F7' to bring up the element list)
  • check how links are displayed (hold down 'Insert' and 'F7' to bring up the element list).

Accessibility and me is a series of interviews with people working in the UK Government.

Also provided by the UK Government, the following user stories provide excellent insight:

Profiles of users with disability helps understand how accessibility affects individual users.

Explore the impact and benefits for everyone through the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) web accessibility perspectives video series.

Page last updated: 24 September 2020