#AccessDeniedDiaries by Lynda

So many webpages are written with light type on a light background. If large text is unreadable to you (it is for me) and white text is placed on the 'on trend' pink background, there may be nothing intelligible on the webpage for blind and low vision people.

If you tell someone you have sight problems, they often kindly but mistakenly think larger text will help. In my case, and that of many other people, it's impossible to read anything less than 12pt and more than 16pt. So mixed sizes, e.g. HUGE headings next to small text, are difficult to read.

I have asked several web representatives, including those at the Ministry of Social Development (an agency many of us use), if they can add a bold option to their accessible text-size choices (a feature I have yet to find!) I also enquired about an audio version for people who can see less than me. I received what seemed like a standard reply, pointing out (in true politician style) what they've already done. Fine. But if there are four access barriers in the way, and you only remove two, the blind or low vision person STILL has two barriers to surmount!

Webpages that don't comply with the international Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a particular challenge to me, especially as my computer is my lifeline. My only lifeline. I cannot see the goods in supermarkets, so online shopping is my only option. I no longer have a local bank branch, so online banking is the only way for me to pay for everything.

The new accessibility legislation should have some teeth, and be able to enforce access standards such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.



This is a story about the barriers many face. We're sharing it because we want a law that puts accessibility at the heart of an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.

What's your story?

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