The tool offers visitors more direct access to the information on a web page by eliminating visual elements that may be distracting or inhibit accessibility. All CSS and inline styles are stripped out, and images are replaced with their alt attributes. The font and background colors revert to the user’s browser defaults, which helps avoid any problems with color contrasts.
Since a web page is above all an informational document, the VCU POSH Tool can help a web developer determine if the document is properly structured before any styles are applied. If the reading order of the information presented on the page does not make sense, it should be reordered logically. This is important, since this is the order that will be followed by screen readers or speech browsers.
As a webmaster the main advantage of deploying the VCU POSH Tool is that a "Text mode" link can be added to each page of the website, which will present visitors with a text-only version of the page with no manual work on the part of the developer.
To add a link to a text version of a web page, simply include the following
tag in your HTML:
<a href="http://ts.vcu.edu/cgi-bin/posh.pl">View text-only version</a>
The tool will automatically render the referring page. Once in POSH mode, most links will continue to go to text-only versions until the visitor returns to graphic mode.
This article was updated: 02/4/2014