Writing Web Pages for a Voice Reader - Page 5.


One of the first things I noticed when writing these pages, was the importance of punctuation to a voice reader. Many web pages (including some of mine I am sure) will be hard work to listen too.

Getting the punctuation right as well as helping any one using a voice reader, will also help those who read the page by eye.

You can make the page far easier to listen too with a few simple tips.

  • Put full stops after each heading, to briefly pause the reader at the end of the heading.
  • Put full stops or commas at the end of each bullet point, to briefly pause the reader at the end of the point.
  • Split up your longer sentences into two, or use comma's.


Spelling mistakes will usually be a lot more noticeable to a voice reader, errors you can miss with a glance stand out with a voice reader.


The obvious point, test it too. Run the reader and listen to it speaking the page.

Site Navigation.

Always have a a simple (brief) pure text, non javascript menu option to cater for people who turn off images & javascript. On this page this is the:-

'Home . Access . Text to Speech', line.

Skip Complex Site Navigation.

On sites which have the simple text menus its useful to give any non visual browsers the option to skip any complex menus. You can hide the skip navigation from a visual browser using the class="nodisplay" coding & style sheet entry.

The html to do this consists of two lines on this page :-

<a class="nodisplay" href="#skipnav">Skip Navigation Menu.</a>

..... complex menu lines here ....

<a name="skipnav"></a>

..... simple menu lines here ....

With one line in the external style sheet (style.css): -

.nodisplay {display:none;}

External Links.

The RNIB pages (link below) cover this in great detail for all types of access, not only poor vision. Unless you have the resources to do it all, its a case of picking out the simpler things first and avoiding bad practise.

RNIB - Web Access Center - Design and build. A lot of good design and accessibility ideals.