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With regards to Accessibility, many sites focus on font-size adjustments either the browser's / OS's native controls or via a control on the page (usually denoted by 3 capital A's of varying size).

However, there are some instances where a contrast adjustment may be needed. Webpages can be affected by the OS's high contrast mode (mentioned here with screen shot); however, depending on the stylesheet, this may end up being a mess.

Because of this, should websites that have higher accessibility requirements provide options for the visitor to select a style / color scheme that provides a higher contrast than the default? If so, should there be varying degrees or just normal and the extreme high contrast mode that's look like the OS's version?

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The OS theming should only affect the border and menu of the browser, the page will still be the same (unless you change the defaults of the browser). –  rk. Jul 10 '13 at 20:31
    
arstechnica.com mobile website has a light / dark theme on the bottom - I personally love using the different themes in different viewing situations (outdoors with sunlight vs insides). All in all, marginal on publisher level, though, it seems to me. –  kontur Jul 10 '13 at 20:52

2 Answers 2

From what I found here: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 my answer to

Because of this, should websites that have higher accessibility requirements provide options for the visitor to select a style / color scheme that provides a higher contrast than the default?

would be 'Yes'.

And the following resources imply:

Many people would like it if you provide:

varying degrees of contrast modes

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Note that many browsers provide built in support to override a page's CSS with custom CSS. For example, Opera has a special "accessibility mode" setting. I think providing accessibility schemes is of value (and if you already support theming, it's a no-brainer). However, having your page designed to work properly when the user is making use of an accessibility-oriented browsing tool will resolve this problem more effectively. For example, alternate themes aren't inherently helpful to blind users.

Providing alternate themes is a nice feature to offer, and will likely make many users happier, even if those users don't "need" such features. Further, in a well-designed site, providing custom themes is often pretty cheap.

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