YouSearched Launches Disability Accessible Search Engine

    May 21, 2004

Claiming to be the world’s first accessible search engine for people with disabilities, has completed its launch. In an email sent by StepForth, a member of the YouSearched design team, the plans on how the engine achieves its accessibility goals is laid out.

“The site layout has been designed to use oversized images with bright pastel colours and extra large font for people who have difficulty viewing pictures or making out traditionally smaller sized fonts. Visitors using a screen-reader will have the text on their monitor read to them with an approximation of the location where various links can be found on the page.

Visitors using a braille device will have the contents of the site printed for them in braille. Visitors who have less severe visual impairments should be able to read the oversized font and make out changes in colour and texture of the large image icons. Even the keyword text-box is larger than normal with 24pt, bolded font.”

Results for YouSearched are provided by English paid-placement tool E-Spotting. However, most of the sites in the SERPs are not considered disabled accessible sites. YouSearched also features directory searches from its engine. “Each directory category has a large 150×150 pastel icon above 18pt. descriptive text.” For financial means, search engine also features contextual keyword listing that work on a PPC basis.

According to StepForth CEO Ross Dunn, “this experience has been an eye-opener for me. Before this project began I only had an inkling of what accessibility meant. Now, however, I can see the importance of accessible web design and I plan on not only implementing it on StepForth’s network of sites but to recommend it to all our clients. It looks like our accessibility expert at Rose Rock Design, Lee Roberts, will be getting a lot of work in the future!”

YouSearched was developed by UK based philanthropist and entrepreneur Khalid Karrar, with technical assistance provided by StepForth CEO, Ross Dunn.

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