Introduction to Cascading Style Sheets
Georgia Institute of Technology. Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access
Georgia Tech Research on Accessible Distance Education (GRADE)
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Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are an increasingly common way for website developers to control the look and feel of their web pages. A style sheet allows the website developer to specify the size, font and color of text for an entire website without having to code the information in each page. Style sheets separate the style (or look and feel) of the document from the structure (or the content and ordering of information). CSS is a powerful way for content developers to preserve the desired fonts, colors, and text sizes of HTML documents. However, students with disabilities can also benefit from sites designed using CSS. Individual users can choose to apply their own style sheets to documents, overriding any other style sheets. For example, a person with low vision could modify every CSS-enabled website to display text in yellow on a black background, if those colors enable her to read the text. However, be aware that CSS does not solve all accessibility problems. In fact, both the WC3 and Section 508 accessibility guidelines stipulate that, for a page to be accessible, the content must be easily understood with the style sheets turned off (i.e. if the user is utilizing an earlier Web browser that doesn't support style sheets, such as Lynx).