The Senior Citizen Information and Technology Commission of the Shanghai Municipal Gerontics Academy has published 15 rules regarding the online surfing of senior citizens, proposing that all websites across China provide barrier-free browsing for the elderly.

The rules cover many different aspects regarding the se of internet. For example, for the font on webpages, it says that that font size should be controllable and provided in direct, non-jargon language. Many newbie web designers and web design firms in China and abroad have become focused instead on created Cascading Style Sheets that make it difficult for web servers to alter their font sizes.

For those who have hearing and visual impairments, the rules ask that online video and audio be replaced with relevant sound or textual content, respectively. For those who have difficulty in identifing colors, the rules state that larger fonts or bold fonts should be used to in place of color. For those netizens who are disabled and can not use a mouse to browse the webpage, keyboard or voice control should offered for them to browse the webpages and web designers should prepare their webpages so that navigation is easier.

Sun Pengbiao, a deputy director from Shanghai Municipal Gerontics Academy, says that Shanghai has absorbed a lot of experiences from overseas countries in making these rules, which detail webpage fonts, image sizes, alternative text and language. In particular, Sun says the 15 rules originate from an overseas event several years ago when an American airline company launched an online ticket booking service, but was criticized by the blind for providing unbalanced information.


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