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The White House makes its website more accessible to people with vision loss

Jan 25, 2021

Sample of accessible dark mode
Credit https://www.whitehouse.gov/

WhiteHouse.gov, the official website for all things presidential has made changes to improve accessibility for people with vision loss.  Improving access to information is among the first things to be changed up under the freshly inaugurated President Biden.  Two immediate changes made by the new administration are the inclusion of a dark mode, or high contrast mode, and a large type toggle.

Dark mode changes the headline type from a patriotic blue to an eye-friendly off-white, with links a calming mustard tone. The accessibility feature is meant to help anyone who would have trouble reading or looking at a bright white screen with black text.

Sample of dark mode
Credit https://www.theverge.com

Even the dark blue background changes to full black with a white border, providing a less stressful, low-contrast mode.

The large type mode makes the text on the site significantly larger, while still preserving the layout and making everything considerably bigger and easier to tap or click. Both of these toggles appear prominently on the left side of the screen.

The new administration is taking accessibility and digital competency seriously from the start. In fact, they're even looking for input from people with disabilities.  Here's a quote from the White House Accessibility Statement:

"This commitment to accessibility for all begins with this site and our efforts to ensure all functionality and all content is accessible to all Americans.

Our ongoing accessibility effort works towards conforming to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1, level AA criteria. These guidelines not only help make web content accessible to users with sensory, cognitive and mobility disabilities, but ultimately to all users, regardless of ability.

Our ongoing accessibility efforts work toward making WhiteHouse.gov as accessible as possible. The White House welcomes comments on how to improve the site’s accessibility for users with disabilities.

Switchboard: 202-456-1414"

Mor on this from The Verge and Tech Crunch.