This is how my old blog looked if your web browser had CSS enabled. Now lets take a look at how this site looks if it was a screen reader or a search engine spider that is looking at it.
As you can see this site works well without the graphical artifacts. You can read this blog with any text mode browser
While not perfect – this site is accessible to screen readers, robots, proxies and spiders.
Now to the ‘not quit perfect’ part of this site:
The links ‘skip to main’ and ‘skip to sidebar’ are meaningless for both human and machine readers that only access the text version of this site. There is no sidebar, and everything you see is the ‘main’ part of this site.
This site is hosted by blogger, so we edit the template for this site:
<span id=’skiplinks’ style=’display:none;’>
<a href=’#main’>read articles</a> | <a href=’#sidebar’>table of contents</a>
I renamed the ‘that something on the sidebar’ to ‘table of contents’ and ‘whatever main’ becomes ‘read articles’. Now those links have a real meaning instead of the former ‘transcription of visual attributes’ like ‘the thing in the middle’ or ‘the thing on the left top right side’.
This will help every user (machine or human) to make use of your online offering.