Lynx Browser and Accessibility

As I covered in Web Accessibility 101: Assistive Technologies, the text browser Lynx is particularly useful for stripping down a web site to its raw, GUI-less nature.

Why is this useful? Well, someone with a motor skill disability that prevents them from effectively using a mouse can navigate a website in Lynx solely by keyboard. Also, blind web surfers using certain refreshable Braille displays can use Lynx as their browser. There are others – disabled or not – who may have connection or hardware limitations that make graphical web browsing slow or just impractical.

Lynx strips out all graphical elements as well as JavaScript, leaving just the raw text, links and alt tags. As such, depending on the complexity or manner by which a site was constructed, a user surfing the web this way may be able to get around, or may be hopelessly barred from getting where they are trying to go.

Screenshot of the art of accessibility in Lynx on a Mac using Terminal
I recently checked out my site in Lynx and was pleased to see that, overall, one can get around effectively via the arrow keys. I can’t take too much credit for that, given I’m using WordPress as the guts of this blog, but it’s at least another area of accessibility where I can set my mind at ease.

If you’re a Mac user like me, you can download Lynx right from Apple’s website. Once you install it, you can fire up Terminal, type in “lynx” and surf the web.

Otherwise, check out the Lynx site for more information.

One thought on “Lynx Browser and Accessibility

  1. Pingback: Manifesto for Teaching Online – Aphorism No. 11 – “Visual and hypertextual representations allow argument to emerge, rather than be stated- Part 5.” « Design Futures Archaeology

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