The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) has designed this website following best practices for accessibility and ease-of-use, mindful of how to best meet the needs of visitors using screen readers and magnifiers as well as voice recognition and other accessibility software and hardware. NLS continues to improve the accessibility of the website in following federal regulations, such as 508 compliancy, and industry standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.2 External.
For more information about accessibility at the Library of Congress in general, please visit https://loc.gov/accessibility. For information about accessible materials and assistive technology, please visit the NLS Informational Publications page.
NLS Accessibility Tools
NLS has placed an Accessibility Tool icon at the top right side of all its webpages. The icon leads to tools for low-vision visitors. To access these tools, users can select the icon, revealing five features plus a “reset” to return all features to the standard settings set by the user’s web browser. These features include the following:
Increase/Decrease Text – To increase or decrease the size of the text while not changing the size of the images, users can adjust these two related tools. If users chose to print the page, these changes to text size will be carried over to the page either printed to PDF or to paper.
High Contrast - Activating the High Contrast function changes all white fields to become black, all black text to white, white headers to light green, visited light blue links to a greenish blue, and unvisited light blue links to a darker blue.
Negative Contrast – Activating the Negative Contrast function changes all white fields to become black, all black text to white, and all light blue links to yellow.
Light Background – By selecting Light Background, colored fields behind texts and images become white or invisible, allowing some patrons with low vision to better read the text, which becomes uniformly black.
Links Underline – Although links are already a light blue in the text of NLS webpages, by using the Links Underline, the text further stands out as horizontal lines appear in the selectable text for linking to a new webpage.
Universal Accessibility Settings
Operating systems, web browsers, and mobile devices also offer various accessibility settings. Like the Accessibility Tools specific to the NLS website, these universal accessibility settings include adjustments to improve color contrast, increase font sizes, turn on text-to-speech options, and more. Each listing below links to the latest information related to these software and hardware preferences.
For information about accessibility settings for desktops and laptop computers, select an operating system:
For information about accessibility settings for web browsers, select a browser:
- Firefox External
- Google Chrome External
- Internet Explorer External
- Microsoft Edge External
- Safari External
For information about accessibility settings for mobile device including phones and tablets, select a platform: