Magnification: The Oldest Accessibility Aid Meets The Newest Accessibility Technology

Before reading glasses became affordable and in the days where the only format of newspaper or magazines available was in print, many older people with visual impairments opted to use a magnifying glass to read the news or their favourite features.

Nowadays the numbers of printed newspapers and magazines are on the decline. People are opting to read their news content online from a wide variety of sources and on a variety of devices. In terms of accessibility, we need to be able to recreate the 19th & 20th Century magnifying glass solution for the 21st Century.

Sight loss affects people of all ages but especially older people. According to the RNIB, 1 in 5 people aged 75 and 1 in 2 aged 90 and over are living with sight loss.

Older people are also using the internet more frequently thanks to the advent of tablets and smartphones. An ‘Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes’ report by Ofcom claims that over 42% of over 65 year olds are accessing the internet, up 27% year-on-year.

Our developers have been working flat out over the last few months and we’re delighted to tell you that we’ve added a new magnifier function to the Recite Me toolbar. This provides all our end users with another great option on accessibility and allows greater personalisation of their web experience.

Using the magnifying glass icon button users can drag their mouse over the content they wish to have magnified. We’re really excited by this new feature as it means that users can easily magnify content such as embedded videos and images that can not always be made larger using the font increase buttons.

Ross Linnett, CEO & Founder of Recite Me said: “We added in the magnification tool based on user feedback. Many older people in particular have used magnification in the past, with a straightforward magnifying glass. Our new tool delivers the same familiar magnification experience, just using the latest technology.”

If you want to make your own website more accessible through the use of assistive technologies, you can try the Recite Me Accessibility Toolbar and WCAG Compliance scanner.

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