Human beings rely heavily on vision to get information from our environment, including information from the Internet. When considering accessibility one of the first access needs that comes to mind are those that relate to vision. But many people are unaware of the true extent of the issues and how to address them.
Almost 4% of the New Zealand population is registered as Blind or Low Vision. But on top of that there are many other New Zealanders who have some form of vision impairment. This includes people with colour deficiencies, deteriorating eyesight due to age, extreme near or far sightedness and those who have had devastating eye injuries. There are also people with temporary or situational visual access needs including people in low light or high glare and those with eye injuries or illness.
The impact of a visual impairment on technology use can range from struggling to read the text when it is too small, to being blocked from using a website because you don’t know what is on the screen. Providing better access to technology for people with visual access needs ranges from making text bigger to coding the website in the right way so that assistive technology can read out the information to a blind user.
"Access Advisors is a pan-disability digital accessibility consultancy. Our mission is to help New Zealand become more digitally inclusive. Access Advisors was initiated by Blind Low Vision NZ (BLVNZ) in July 2017. Making products and services more accessible will make it easier for people with access needs to do the things others take for granted. Access Advisors wants to help so that disabled people can enjoy the same opportunities as everyone else."