Using the Controller:
You might have noticed a toolbar floating in the lower right hand area of your screen. This is a controller for adding accessibility features to this website. It adds the features of a screen reader, font re-sizer, and inverse modes.
The Screen Reader:
- The screen reader is activated by clicking on the first button with the arrow symbol.
- The second button is pause. Click the arrow button after pausing and the reader will continue where it left off.
- The third button stops the screen reader.
The screen reader will start at the top of the page, which means it will read everything, including the menu. It is recommended that you ‘highlight’ what you want to read. This serves the purpose of keeping the screen reader from reading extraneous words on the page. The other advantage to highlighting is that you know exactly where it is reading on the page, and you can follow along.
The Font Re-sizer:
The next 3 buttons control the font size.
- Difficult to see, the first ‘A’ button, has a little plus sign in the upper right hand corner. As you click on this button, the size of the text will increase.
- The second ‘A’ button has a little minus sign in the upper right hand corner. Clicking on this button will decrease the size of the text.
- The third ‘A’ button is a reset button, which takes the text back to the original size.
Inverse, High Contrast Modes:
The last set of buttons control contrast modes. Each button reverses the polarity of the screen to increase contrast.
- The first button totally change the polarity of both the printed text and the colors on the screen. The background becomes black, letters become white , and colors are the polar opposite.
- The second button reverses the polarity of the white background and the black text, but colors remain the same.
- The third button changes the screen to a alternate high contrast mode.
Tapping on the button a second time changes the screen back to its original color mode.
This feature is good for those who suffer from eyestrain from the glare emitted from the computer screen. It is also a good feature to use in the evening while reading.
Accessing Accessibility Features Using the Keyboard:
The features of Screen reader, font re-sizing , and high contrast can b activated by using the keyboard. Press ‘alt,’ then the letter to activate the function. Capital letters are used below for clarity, but are not necessary, the lower case works.
Access for the Screen Reader:
Play: alt P
Pause: alt E
Stop: alt S
Increase font size: alt O
Decrease font size: alt U
Reset button: alt R
High contrast, reverse polarity: alt H
High contrast, text polarity only: alt J
High contrast, alternative: alt K
Keyboard Shortcuts for Enlarging the Font Anywhere You are Browsing the Web
If you would like to change the font size when browsing this and any other website, here are two other options:
- Hold down the “CTRL” key on your keyboard and roll the mouse wheel to zoom in and zoom out.
If you prefer not to use the mouse, use this keyboard alternative (Windows):
- Hold “CTRL” down while tapping the plus key (+) to zoom in.
- Hold “CTRL” down while tapping the minus key (–) to zoom out.
For Mac users:
- Hold “Command” “Option” and tap the plus sign (+), to zoom in.
- Hold “Command” “option” and tap the minus sign (–), to zoom out.
On their Mac keyboard shortcuts page, they indicate that to use he zoom shortcuts, you may need to turn on “Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom” in Accessibility preferences.”