Hearing Words Is Only One Part of Screen Readability According to Adam Spencer

Visualizing the Internet

Adam Spencer is the Founder of AbleDocs, an international company that is dedicated to document accessibility so that individuals with print disabilities can read and interact with all content within a document independently and comprehensively.

What Is Screen Reader Accessibility?

Man using a screen reader.
Adam Spencer from Oakville, Ontario, Discusses Screen Reader Accessibility

How to Design For Screen Reader Accessibility

In addition to using professional services, there are a few ways to make an online document more readable.

Three important aspects to readability design include:

Site Structure

The structure of a document or website matters. Out of date website development practices and including things like links with vague names or hidden contact information can be problematic for individuals with print disabilities. Clean and clear structure, descriptive link names and clear headings dramatically improve the readability of a site. Following the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines also works as a great roadmap towards website accessibility for all, and the ISO Standard for PDF accessibility, known as PDF/UA is the best way to ensure documents are accessible.

Imagery Text

When using images on a webpage or online document, use ALT-Text. ALT-Text will describe the image and give necessary context. Graphics that include text can be difficult to read for many people with low vision. Text-free images are preferred to aid in making a document accessible. Adding ALT-Text to charts and infographics is also beneficial. Breaking the graphic into several images can make for a more straightforward interpretation, especially if it looks cluttered.

A white, large, capital letter “A” next to a smaller, black, capital letter “A”.
Adam Spencer from Oakville, Ontario, Explains Text Size and Colour

Text Size

Text size is crucial for many people with low vision. By using relative and responsive font sizes, providing the option to make all text larger or change the color, and having contrast on a page can drastically reduce eye strain and headaches.

How Does Readability Look?

Readability typically looks easy to read. That can be different for everyone, but in general, readability is a clean and clear way to understand what’s being conveyed. Each webpage and document has a design, and the colors and fonts used are personal.



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Adam Spencer

Adam Spencer

Adam Spencer from Oakville, Ontario, is the CEO and Founder of Able Docs. AbleDocs specializes in document and electronic accessibility.