In addition to its role in aesthetic appeal, color is a valuable way to present information—for example, coding categories of information or highlighting information to take advantage of cultural stereotypes (such as red for “stop”). However, some people with vision impairments can’t perceive color at all, while others are unable to distinguish specific color pairs. Information provided only through color will be unavailable to these users.
When using visual characteristics, make sure the information is available to people who can’t see color:
- Provide another cue. Use color as a way to convey information to people who can perceive color, but then also provide the information in another way for people who can’t see color—in text, for example.
- Provide meaningful labels. Give controls such as links and menus meaningful labels and titles so that people can understand what they do without needing instructions.
- Print out your page in black and white. Do its information and instructions make sense when color isn’t available?
- Read your page to someone who isn’t looking at the screen. Can they make sense of everything they hear?
- Check your page for references to visual appearance, size, position, or orientation, and then update the content so that people who can’t see can still understand what you mean.