Accessibility on the web means making your content available to users with different skills and devices. A key requirement of web accessibility is to separate content (HTML) from visual appearance (CSS) in order to allow those preferring – or requiring – to use their own specific style sheet to access the content.
Since the visual appearance of a site is defined by style sheets, accessibility in itself should not have any impact on visual design.
Great examples of beautiful yet fully accessible websites:
- CSS Zen garden
- The White House
Further reading on accessibility vs. visual design:
- Web strategist Paul Boag explains how accessible sites can still be visually appealling.
- Accessibility specialist front-end developer Roger Johansson claims that “accessibility does not mean removing all colour and graphics”.
- A quick guide on how to make your web site accessible without ruining the visual design.