Mozilla Firefox and accessible web design

by S. Smith, Student Access Center
published Jan. 30, 2007

Mozilla's Firefox browser is gaining ground as a very flexible and engaging open-source product -- allowing tabbed browsing, multiple skins, and a myriad of extensions that add to the functionality of the browser. It is also a very stable program.

But did you know that Mozilla has a commitment to creating programs that are accessible to persons with disabilities? According to their website, Firefox may be the first browser to provide a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) describing accessibility compliance, and thus allowing U.S. government procurement. More information can be found on the Mozilla Accessibility Project site. To download the browser, see www.mozilla.org.

Web developers would be well served to download the Developer's Toolbar Extension along with Firefox. The Toolbar allows users to 1) view and edit CSS from the browser; 2) toggle images and text on and off; 3) change the screen size; 4) validate HTML, CSS, Section 508, and links from within the browser; and much, much more. Try it out!

For more information, see WebAIM's excellent article: Firefox Accessibility. Incidentally, WebAIM.org is well worth a bookmark if you are a web developer or working with people with disabilities.