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Re: Color contrast in links -- is it important?


From: Randall Pope2
Date: Apr 21, 2007 11:10AM

Hi Everyone,

I have been watching this list for quite sometimes and learned a lot of you
all. I'm Randall Pope who is deaf-blind (meaning that I'm both severely
hard of hearing and legally blind with some usable vision). I'm a webmaster
for the American Association of the Deaf-Blind and working on a new web
design which will be more accessible than the current one at http://aadb.org
. While I'm not happy with my first design, it was certainly a big learning
experience for me. I will get to some other accessible issues later. Now
the question on color contrast in links.

As a low vision person like myself, I feel there is a big need for color
contrast in the web design. As some of you may already know, less than 10%
of the legally blind population is actually total blind. I believe about
35% of the blind population use some kind of accessible devices such as JAWS
to access the information on the web but I'm not 100% sure about this. But
I do know a good number of low vision readers do use their vision without
any kind of assisting devices.

As a low vision user, my suggestion of the four states of the links in
regards to color contrast:

Link = very important. The underline does help but sometimes I cannot tell
the difference from a content underline from the link underline. Many
times, I have click on underline words only to find out that is not a link
after clicking on it several times, not to mention of being annoyed. Plus
the color contrast between the link and the content does help a lot.

Visited = important. Many times I get confused which page that I visit
because the website does not offer a different color. Also a contrasted
color background is a big help in finding the visited links.

Active = not important. I must confess that I don't quite understand the
purpose of having this function or make it work for accessible reason.
Someone may need to advise me on this one.

Hover = very important. This feature really helps me assure that my mouse
in the right position before clicking. Without the hover many times I did
not have the mouse in proper position which resulted going to the wrong

Many thanks for the question and hope some of you will have an idea what I
see. I do have one big issue: Sign Language users who use American Sign
Language as their first language. There are quite a few deaf who cannot
read English writing well but can understand the content through sign

Take care,
Randy Pope

-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of tedd
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 12:33 PM
Subject: [WebAIM] Color contrast in links -- is it important?

Hi gang:

Question for the day: Color contrast in links -- is it important?

Now before everyone jumps on the bandwagon and tells me why contrast
is important, does anyone really have problems with the color
contrast of links? Remember there are four states of a link and if it
matters, then each link has to be evaluated for contrast in each
state (link, visited, active, hover).

So, what say you?


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