[nfbmi-talk] travelosity web access story

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Tue Jan 18 07:22:54 CST 2011

Travelocity makes website accessible to blind


The Internet opens up the world to many people with disabilities, but it still has its barriers, particularly for those with visual disabilities. The National

Federation of the Blind has recently inked a deal with a major online travel agency to ensure visually impaired users have the same access to information

as others.



Helen Leggatt


NFB logo blind.pngOnline travel agency, Travelocity, has


to make its website fully accessible to the blind.


An agreement with the National Federation of the Blind (


will see each initial web page used for searching flights, accommodation, packages, last-minute deals, car hire, rail journeys, cruises and activities more

accessible to blind Internet users by July 1 this year.


By the end of March, 2012, the entire site will be accessible to blind users.


"We are committed to providing our customers with the best service possible," said Nejib Ben-Khedher, Chief Operating Officer of Travelocity. "With that

in mind, making our website accessible is of critical importance--all of our customers, including those who are blind, must be able to easily access our

products and services."


In general terms, there are two types of visual impairment, each with their own online considerations and solutions.


Partially-sighted - Many partially-sighted online users need to enlarge text on websites. Some use screen magnifiers. Website owners need to be aware of

how enlarging the text effects legibility and site use, along with the effect it has on text embedded in graphics.


Blind - Screen readers are used by those with blindness or extremely poor sight. The technology sifts through HTML code and deciphers what needs to be read

aloud. Some blind users, particularly those that are deaf/blind, might use a refreshable Braille display machine which allows users to read the content.


How can you make your website more "nonvisually accessible"? The first thing you need to do is find out how the


blind users employ affects website design. Then it's a case of


various site components such as image and link tags, form formats and even color schemes. And, of course, don't forget to





visually impaired,

web accessibility



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