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CSS Switching Styles for the Low Vision User

Digital Web – Strategies for CSS Switching discusses how to handle switching CSS style sheets and why and when you should, depending upon browsers or intent.

After all, the true wonder of the Web is its promise of universal access: an avenue through which a user can gain instant and complete entry to any topic, from anywhere in the world. In fact, much of the mantle we don as Web designers is to realize that promise—to make sites that are at once visually compelling and with an interface that presents no barrier to entry.

However, we’ve slowly come to realize that our understanding of our audience has been incomplete at best. While we focused on setting the type…in the early days of the Web, our development was focused on having sites “look right? on contemporary desktop browsers. But in recent years, our understanding of our users’ needs has matured. People with physical, hearing, visual, or cognitive disabilities have always been using our sites; it’s just taken us some time to realize it. So, it’s only in recent years that our definition of “accessibility? has flowered, and our site-building techniques have followed suit.

While some designers may tell you that building an accessible site means building a boring site, we’d fling their pooh-pooh right back at them. Accessibility isn’t about larger fonts and creating high-contrast guidelines. Some users of the Web can read only smaller texts, while others can see only yellow text on a black background. Rather, many of the design techniques explored throughout this book—semantic, well-structured markup, a separation between content and presentation—can and will afford us incredible leverage in building professional, inspiring designs and simultaneously improve the accessibility of our sites for all of our users, not just a select few. In short, we can better realize the Web’s potential for universal access, and make some ultra-sexy sites to boot.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen


  1. Posted November 3, 2005 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    So when are you coming back to #wordpress?? WE MISS YOU!!!!

  2. Posted November 4, 2005 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m currently in New Orleans in the mess on an assignment and to help friends. Nice to know someone misses me. It’s been really difficult here and we are all doing the best we can.

    I’ll be back soon.


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