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This site has been designed to be as usable as possible for screen readers and keyboard-only use. Details of the accessibilty features on the site are given below.

Skip the Menus

Each page on the site has a link, shown at the upper left as "Skip to the Main Content," that lets you jump directly to the main content on the page if you're using a screen reader. The banner and top menus are ignored.

Note that the link says "Skip to the Main Content" rather than "Skip to Content" ("Skip to Main Content" works all right, too). For the reason why, see Ginny Redish's article, Guidelines for Accessible and Usable Web Sites: Observing Users Who Work With Screen Readers, and in particular Guideline 10.

Change the Text Size

Note that pressing Ctrl and + zooms up all Firefox and Internet Explorer pages (not just ours)--the text and pictures both get larger. Pressing Ctrl and - makes them smaller. To return to normal size, go to the View menu on Firefox or Internet Explorer, click Zoom, and then click Reset or 100%.

For more information about built-in accessibility options, pick your browser:

See also Accesskeys: Unlocking Hidden Navigation on A List Apart and Access Key Companion on Juicy Studio for information about access-key strategies.

Making PDFs Accessible

Some of the files on Fast Smart Web Design are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. To view these files, you will need to have the Acrobat Reader software, which you can download from Adobe's website. The Reader includes a variety of accessibility options, described in Accessibility.

To have your computer read an Adobe file out loud, go to the View menu and pick Read Out Loud. Activate Read Out Loud, then click View and Read Out Loud again. Select either Read This Page Only or Read to End of Document.

Read the Text Out Loud and Other Options

For websites, we suggest the following three options:

  1. Web Anywhere, a web-based screen reader for the web built at the University of Washington, requires no special software on your computer and lets you access the web aurally from any computer you happen to have access to.
  2. BrowsealoudBrowsealoud reads web pages aloud for people who find it difficult to read online (or to read at all). To use Browsealoud, you need to download and install the software. When it is running, you can have the text read aloud simply by moving the mouse over the text. You don't have to click or select the text.
  3. ZoomText is a quick, relatively inexpensive, and painless way to find out about screenreaders and magnifiers. (We use it to test sites for screenreader accessibility.) You can download a demo copy from their site.

Also try these browser toolbars:

Get Help or More Information

If you have any questions or are having problems using the site, please email the details to us at info -at- or call us at 718 720-1169.

Click on the banner for more information about the artwork and the artist.
Who Is Fast Smart Web Design?


Victor Stanwick and Susan Fowler

Victor Stanwick and Susan Fowler


Established in 2008, Fast Smart Web Design is a follow-up to FAST Consulting, a usability testing and consulting firm started in 1990. Fast Smart Web Design takes advantage of the principals' long experience working in Fortune 500 corporations (for example, Telcordia Technologies and IBM). We bring the high levels of analysis, skills, and expertise developed in that world into the world of non-profits and small businesses.

Susan Fowler, Owner, President

Susan Fowler is a senior-level consultant on business, information technology, non-profit, and educational projects and has been a manager and team leader for both for-profit and non-profit organizations. A vice president of the usability testing firm FAST Consulting, she is experienced in lab-based usability testing, remote unmoderated testing, surveys, design (including prototypes and wireframes), and online conferencing and teaching.

Susan is author, with Victor Stanwick, of three user-interface books: Web Application Design Handbook, GUI Style Guide, and the GUI Design Handbook.Susan does specifications, analysis, documentation, client meetings, usability testing, and reports.

Victor Stanwick, Vice President

Victor Stanwick is a graphic artist, interface designer, technical writer, cartoonist and co-author, with Susan, of Web Application Design Handbook, GUI Style Guide, and the GUI Design Handbook.

He has worked in many different industries, from computer repair to diesel engineer to blacksmith to land surveyor, giving him a unique perspective on how people interact with various tools and how this interaction can be improved. He is familiar with design from both a hardware and software perspective. He is the owner of FAST Consulting and Victor R. Stanwick, Cabinetmaker.

Victor does visual design; logo design; artwork; online help and documentation; and programming.