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Okay, I've looked at your site but I still don't find it accessible. What now?

Firstly, it may well be because I've made some mistake somewhere. Contact Me, explaining your problem, and I'll investigate and do my best to resolve the problem for you. However, before contacting me, it might be worth double-checking that you're already making best use of the Assistive Technology (AT) available to you. Take a look at the list below and see if you're covered by any of the following points:

Using A Windows Platform

  1. Change screen resolution. Open up Control Panel and double click on the Display icon. Select the settings tab and drag the slider bar for Change Screen Area to reduce the screen area. This will result in text being displayed correspondingly larger (a screen area of 800 by 600 pixels will see text shown around 25% bigger than a screen area of 1024 by 768 pixels, and a screen area of 640 by 480 pixels will see text shown about 25% bigger again). Please note that your PC hardware may support a different range of screen resolutions.
  2. Microsoft Magnifier. If you are using Windows 98 or later editions, Microsoft Magnifier is likely to already be included in your software. To open this, click on the Start button, select Run and magnify and then hit Return. A sub-window will open at the top of your screen, which you can click and drag on the edge to change the proportion of the full screen that this opens up. By default, the magnification is set to 2 times the standard size, although you may vary this factor between 1 and 9. Depending upon the settings you choose, Microsoft Magnify can automatically follow the mouse cursor, the keyboard focus or any text editing that you are doing. Magnifier is intented to provide a minimum level of function for users with slight visual impairments, and Microsoft suggest that most users with disabilities will need utility programs with higher functionality for daily use.

Internet Explorer

  1. Altering text size. Select the View menu, then Text Size, and change the text size accordingly.
  2. Choosing your own colours. Select the Tools menu, then Internet Options, then Accessibility. You can choose to ignore colours specified on the style sheet, font sizes specified on the style sheet and/or font styles specified on the style sheet.
  3. Choose your own style sheet. Go to Tools, then Internet Options, then Accessibility. If there is a specific stylesheet you want to use, you can specify to use this stylesheet rather than the sheet defined for the site you are viewing. It is not good 'manners' to use someone else's stylesheet without permission. If you do wish to use someone else's stylesheet, you should request their permission, and if they grant it, take a copy of their stylesheet and store it locally on your PC (or your website) so that you are not using their bandwidth to view someone else's site!

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Altering text size. Select the View menu, then Text Size, and change the text size accordingly.
  2. Choosing your own colours. Select the Tools menu, then Options, and then select General. Click on the Fonts and Colors button to specify the default fonts and colours for web pages. Note that if fonts and colours are specified on a web page or stylesheet, they will over-ride your selections unless you have ticked the boxes to indicate that you always wish to use your colours and styles.

Netscape Navigator

  1. Altering text size. Select the View menu, then Text Zoom, and change the zoom percentage accordingly. Note that this only increases the size of text and not images.
  2. Altering default fonts. Select the Edit menu, then Preferences, double click on Appearance if the appearance tree is not already expanded, then select Fonts and set your default font preferences accordingly. Web pages will still be able to use other fonts in your browser unless you un-tick the 'Allow documents to use other fonts' box.
  3. Choosing your own colours. Select the Edit menu, then Preferences, double click on Appearance if the appearance tree is not already expanded, then select Colors and set your default colour preferences. Note that web pages will still appear in their own colours if they have specified them, unless you select the 'Use my chosen colors, ignoring the colors and background image specified' radio option.

Opera

  1. Altering zoom size. Select the View menu, then Zoom and change the zoom amount accordingly. Note that the difference between this and the text size options used elsewhere is that using Opera Zoom, the size of images are also scaled up accordingly.
  2. Set a minimum font size. Select the Tools Menu, then Preferences, and then Fonts. Here you are given an option to set a minimum font size in pixels, which will apply to every page. This will only adjust the font size where the font size was originally smaller than this, and will not affect images at all.
  3. Setting colours and styles. Select the Tools Menu, then Preferences, and then Page Style. Here you are given information on modes and styles. You can change the default zoom percentage, default background colour, link styles, whether or not you allow forms and scrollbars to be styled, and if you have created one, to set your own stylesheet (but please see the Internet Explorer section for guidance on using someone else's stylesheet). Opera runs in two modes: author mode and user mode. Each of these modes can be configured to use different rules (for example, author mode is normally configured to view the site as the site author intended it; user mode is normally configured to view in the most suitable way for yourself). set the default mode accordingly and ensure that it is configured to match your preferences.

Thanks to Gez Lemon of Juicy Studio, who inspired this article. Thanks also to Mauricio for the feedback, and for providing a Brazilian Portugese translation of this article.