Making your website accessible to everyone is the right thing to do, and it can also be a great way to enhance the user experience for all of your visitors. By using an accessibility overlay, you can help people with disabilities navigate your website more easily, making it a more inclusive and welcoming place for everyone.
Many accessibility overlays are simply layers covering part of the page, allowing you to see the content underneath it. This is helpful for people who have trouble seeing images on a page or distinguishing colors and those with color blindness. Other overlays include audio cues that tell you what’s happening on the screen.
This article will discuss some of the ways that overlays can be used and how you can create your own to meet your needs.
An accessibility overlay is a layer that covers part of the screen, usually over images and text. It may cover only a small area or completely obscure the page (the latter is usually done for testing purposes).
There are several types of overlays that you might find useful. The first is an overlay that can help people with vision disabilities or color blindness differentiate between background and foreground images. These are often black and white, but some also include red for highlighting text. Another popular type has yellow circles around links. Hence, they stand out clearly from the rest of the page, making them easier to identify for users who have difficulty clicking on small targets or distinguishing colors. Finally, an auditory overlay can include sounds like a bell or tone, which plays when something happens on the screen (e.g., when a link is activated).
You can also create overlays that explain certain elements; this could include images or buttons that activate something, links to other parts of the site, or videos. If any animations on your site might not be obvious to new users, you could also provide an overlay that identifies them.
The Benefits Of Accessibility Overlays
Overlays are an excellent way to make navigating your website easier for people with disabilities because they can make things more clear and accessible by adding visual cues. This can be especially helpful for people who have trouble seeing images on a page or finding small links in navigation bars. With overlays, all of this information becomes conveniently available right on top of the text and pictures where it’s needed for clarification. It makes the experience feel much more comfortable and familiar for everyone involved.
There are a number of benefits to using overlays to enhance the user experience for people with disabilities. They allow you to:
- Offer a consistent way of labeling and clarifying your site’s content.
- Improve accessibility by addressing common problems that make it difficult for those with disabilities or other special needs to access information on your website (e.g., confusing images).
- Assist users as they explore your site, offering helpful messages as needed (e.g., “This link will open in a new window”).
- Create helpful messages and cues at strategic times during page load or when an action is done (e.g., immediately after hovering over a button).
Create Your Own Overlay
Creating and implementing overlays can be very simple because of free resources like classes and online tutorials.
If you’re looking for ready-made options, check out extensions like “NVDLA” (visually impaired), which can provide many of the aforementioned features. You could also try something like Google Chrome’s “Accessible on hover” extension to see how it works or look into services that help you build overlays, like Aira.