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If I have a webapp that cannot be fully accessible to visually impaired users because the end goal is for a non-accessible animate bitmap canvas to be output, is it worth it to make the rest of the webapp accessible to them? If so, what should I prioritize adding?

  • Accessibility is for your users... if it's not accessible, then who are you designing for? – Majo0od Dec 30 '15 at 15:46
  • I am designing it primarily for sighted users. You are are correct that "accessible" could mean accessible to anyone. I meant to use it in the context of "accessible to users with disabilities" – Daniel F Dec 30 '15 at 16:11
  • It would be a mistake to assume that one accessibility issue covers all of them. Even visual impairments can have different causes from each other with different methods of providing accessibility to someone suffering a different visual degeneration of some sort. e.g. Colour-blindness is still an accessibility issue that you should consider. – Nathanael Dec 30 '15 at 17:36
  • @Nathanael thank you did that information. It you could write an answer with a list of impairments that would not prevent people from seeing movie-ish content that I should try to accommodate I would mark it as accepted. – Daniel F Dec 30 '15 at 17:41
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A non-exhaustive list of visual impairments that would not hinder people from being able to consume movie-ish content.

  • Colour blindness
  • Low visual acuity;
    • vision that is somewhere between 20/70 and 20/400 after correction (legal blindness in the USA starts at 20/200 after correction)
    • or a visual field of 20 degrees of less (this counts as legal blindness in the USA)
  • Blindness;
    • vision that is worse than 20/400 after correction
    • or a visual field of 10 degrees or less
  • Glaucoma; The vision loss is typically tunnel-like, with intact vision in the center, which decreases as the vision loss in the peripheries expands.
  • Macular Degeneration; A level of increasing opacity forms in the center of the vision. It blurs the sharp, central vision, but does not necessarily result in total vision loss, so may not stop consumption of movie-ish content to begin with.
  • Cataracts; does not stop the consumption of movie-ish content, even if seeing/reading the content is harder. In fact, movie-ish content may be easier for many sufferers than reading.

Obviously the level of impairment is a major factor; e.g. Cataracts can get bad enough that they cannot see.

Design considerations for these users would allow many of them to continue to use your service. They would also improve the usability for non-impaired users.

Accessibility considerations should also be given to those with motor impairments; they may not be able to easily tap or click on small target areas.

There are also cognitive impairments that should be considered

A former colleague of mine has created a tool that helps to understand many of the accessibility considerations that will affect your product.

http://www.antigravity-systems.com/labs/accsim/index.php

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Here are some reasons you would want to make the site accessible to visually impaired users:

1) A user with poor vision might be able to see well enough to use the animated bitmap, but still need accessibility features such as labeling for form elements and standards-compliant zooming for text and buttons.

2) Are there cases where a user who can't see the output could still generate output to share with someone who can see it?

3) A visually impaired user might encounter one of your images, and visit your site to learn about how it was generated. This information might be important to them, or they might share your website with other potential users.

If you don't think that a visually impaired user would be able to make use of your images, or interact with the tool for creating them, you should at least follow standard accessibility guidelines for the informational areas of your site.

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