This website is readily available to blind and partially sighted people, whatever programme and technical systems they use, but the site has obviously also been designed to be relevant to, and a pleasant experience for, the general public.

This challenge was met with the help of the site designer, Marlon, who spent a lot of time investigating all types of accessibility standards for enabling blind and partially-sighted people to "surf" the Internet. However, we also have to acknowledge our gratitude for the collaborative efforts of the many blind or partially sighted people who agreed to take part in various tests and offer their opinions as the site was being developed.

The W3C recommendations formed the basis for designing the Ligue Braille site, in keeping with the international accessibility recommendations. AnySurfer, a Belgian website accessibility organisation, has also given its seal of approval to the website.

The Ligue Braille could not and did not wish to create two different sites so that the visually impaired find themselves “ghettoised” on the site. Sighted, partially sighted and blind people have access to the same information and the same language here.

Specific tools.

We have developed some specific tools to make it easier for the visually impaired to browse the site:

  • Contrasts
    The basic contrasts between the background and the text are already very sharp, but some people may be more comfortable with a black background. This is why enabling the "contrasts" function in the site header completely reverses the contrasts, changing the white background to a black one. This is a valuable tool for both the visually impaired using a computer and for the sighted working on a tablet or smartphone.

  • Enlarging texts
    Enabling this feature enlarges the text published on the site, but if the tool is already enabled, press this button to return to a “standard” text size. This is a valuable tool for both the visually impaired using a computer and for the sighted working on a tablet or smartphone.

  • Mobile browsing
    The mobile browsing feature is based on the website’s "elastic" design such that the site is automatically adapted to the size of the window.

    When the feature is enabled, what happens in practice is that the site automatically switches to “smartphone” mode, so the user can enjoy a vertical browsing experience. The aim is to allow visually impaired people to use a "zoom" application so as to avoid navigating the site from left to right too much, as this can make browsing frustrating.

Direct access.

These tools have been provided for people browsing with a voice synthesis system. The text-to-speech synthesiser will read out a series of links on the site page and clicking on these will take the person directly to certain sections of the site:

  • Go to content
  • Go to contacts
  • Go to main menu
  • Go to search
  • Go to site map
  • Go to accessibility tools

Described image

All the images featured on this site are described with using the ALT feature.

Finding your whereabouts on the site.

At the start of every page, the browsing path is repeated so visitors know exactly where they are on the site.

For example, on the "Accessibility" page the path will look like this:

From home to accessibility
Whereas for someone using a vocal synthesiser it will sound like this: from Home to Accessibility.