Case Study: Low Vision, Hand Tremor & Mild Shortterm Memory Loss

Mr. Yunus, Retiree with low vision, hand tremor, and mild shortterm memory loss

Mr. Yunus is 85 years old and started to use the Web several years ago to stay in touch with family and friends, and to read about art history. He has reduced vision, hand tremor, and mild short-term memory loss.

He regularly reads selected news websites and tracks several blogs that interest him. He also uses several social networking websites with which he can communicate with his children, grandchildren, other relatives, and friends. He maintains a blog in which he writes about art history and other topics that he enjoys. His grandchildren set up a photo-sharing website that his family uses to post pictures and videos, and he enjoys seeing family members who are far away and that he otherwise cannot see as frequently.

Mr. Yunus has difficulty reading small text and clicking on small links or form elements. His daughter gave him a specialized mouse that compensates hand trembling and showed him how to enlarge the text on websites using the web browser settings, since enlarging makes reading text and clicking links easier. His web browser has a zoom function that enlarges the entire page and a text enlarging setting that only increases the text size. He prefers to enlarge the text only rather than the entire web page, since enlarging the entire web page on his browser distorts the images and forces him to scroll horizontally to read some of the text. Besides the difficulty in using a mouse, it is also difficult for him to concentrate on scrolling and reading a sentence.

Unfortunately, Mr. Yunus discovered that many websites are not designed to support text enlarging. For instance, sometimes the text cannot be resized or the text on the web pages starts to overlap each other as he increases the text size. Another barrier that he encounters is CAPTCHA images that he finds on several social networking websites. These distorted images of text are intended to tell computers and humans apart, but Mr. Yunus cannot read the small and distorted text, even if he enlarges the image. Only a few websites provide alternatives to CAPTCHA images that are more accessible to him.

Mr. Yunus has gradually found and bookmarked websites that work well for him. He also found a web browser that helps him organize these bookmarks and that shows him pictures of his favorite websites so that he does not need to remember their web address or name.

Our question to you is:

  • If Mr. Yunus visits your website, will he be able to enlarge the text for easy reading?
  • Would he book mark you, for future reference and purchases?
  • Does your website have the ability to increase text size without distorting the design of the site?

Case Study from: The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
Our Questions from: IceWeb Solutions’ Staff