Browsing Technologies Compatibility

Your website must be able to function with all different browsing technologies

The first and perhaps the most important rule of web accessibility. Not everyone is using the latest version of Internet Explorer, with all the plug-ins and programs that you may require them to have for your website. Different browsing technologies, each with their own accessibility requirements, can include:

  • Lynx browser - Text-only browser with no support for tables, CSS, images, JavaScript, Flash or audio and video content
  • WebTV - 560px in width with horizontal scrolling not available
  • Screen reader - Page content read aloud in the order it appears in the HTML document
  • Handheld device - Very small screen with limited support for JavaScript and large images
  • Screen magnifier - As few as three to four words may be able to appear on the screen at any one time
  • Slow connection (below 56kb) - Users may turn off images to enable a faster download time
  • 1600px screen width - Very wide screen
  • This basically means that to ensure your website is accessible to everyone you must provide alternatives to:

    • Images - in the form of ALT text
    • JavaScript - through the <noscript> tag
    • Flash - with HTML equivalents
    • Audio & video - by using subtitles or written transcripts
    • For enhanced website accessibility you must also be careful how your pages look when support for CSS and/or tables has been removed.

      There are two good ways you can check your website is accessible for all these:

      • Download the Opera17 browser and read this article on checking web accessibility with Opera18
      • Download the Lynx browser19 and see if you can successfully access every part of your website