-- Accessibility

One of the primary raisons d'être for Printing the Web was to address the growing problem of inaccessible web pages. In its nascent days, the Web consisted largely of text-heavy documents which could be handled with ease by screen readers. The addition of dynamic features such as Javascript and Flash animation made the Web a much more unfriendly environment to users with disabilities.

In some ways, the Web is a wonderful tool for accessibility. Before the Web, turning a hard copy into a Braille version required an intermediate step of entering the information into a computer that could then print to a Braille printer. Though we oppose the idea of the Web as a digital archive, we fully support the Web as a source of documents that can be sent to a Braille printer, thus making it easier to create accessible documents. For instance, many books which have no Braille analog can now be easily converted to an accessible format by using sources such as the Gutenberg Project.

This process is relatively easy to effect given the structure and mission of our organization. As is already set up to print these pages, it is a trivial task to output a webpage to both an inkjet printer and a Braille printer simultaneously. In this way, we create a repository of information that is accessible and lasting.