Have you noticed the small wheel icon on the right top of the page, on your PC monitor or mobile device screen, and wondering what it is? I’ll tell you: it’s the Farfalla project, a web app enabling, on one hand, the website developers or admins to add features to improve accessibility and, on the other hand, web users with special needs (partially blind people, with movement or reading issues) to access tools allowing them to improve their surfing experience.
How much does it cost? Nothing: it’s 100% free, because Farfalla is an open software, distributed by GNU Affero General Public License (GNU AGPL), designed and developed by Andrea Mangiatordi, in companionship with professionals and companies, including Jobmetoo.
Let’s explore together the features Farfalla enables to add to the websites:
Virtual keyboard on screen, multilingual and designed for people with movement issues
- Text size control, enabling to increase or decrease the text size on the web page you’re visiting
- Contrast and colour mix control, for visually impaired people
- Bigger mouse pointer, to surf easier among the sections of the websites
- Better legibility, through increased spacing among letters
In order to activate each feature, you simply have to click on the wheel icon and move the white pointer along the bar. Through the star symbol, you can also save the settings for future visits on the website using Farfalla. Many websites (including Move@bility!) use Farfalla already. But how to do with those that still don’t have it? It’s easy: simply download and install the app toolbar on the browser you normally use to surf the web, following the instructions available on the official website of the project for each browser.
And what if you don’t want to constantly use Farfalla, but only when needed? In that case, simply install the bookmarklet (from here), dragging its rectangular tag on the bookmarks bar or, as an alternative, right-clicking and saving the link among the bookmarks. In that case, when you need to enable a feature of the app, just click on its icon in the bookmarks bar et voilà!
It’s easy, isn’t it?