Often people find animation distracting and confusing. However, individuals can turn off animations in Internet Explorer using Tools / Internet Options / Advanced, and there scroll down to Multimedia and uncheck Play animations. Using Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer, you can stop animated gifs with the Stop button on the tool bar or the Escape key.
People with photosensitive epilepsy can have seizures triggered by flickering or flashing in the 4 to 59 flashes per second (Hertz) range with a peak sensitivity at 20 flashes per second as well as quick changes from dark to light (like strobe lights). This concern caused the Access Board to include the following standard:
Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
Other areas not specifically covered by this standard are movement, blinking, scrolling, and auto-updating objects or pages.
Some people with cognitive or visual disabilities are unable to read moving text quickly enough or at all. Movement can also cause such a distraction that the rest of the page becomes unreadable for people with cognitive disabilities. Screen readers are unable to read moving text. People with physical disabilities might not be able to move quickly or accurately enough to interact with moving objects.
Animated images can be a nuisance to many people, so you must ask yourself if there is anything to be gained in having them in your Web site.
This tutorial is based on Webucator's Web Accessibility and Section 508 Training for Experienced Web Designers Course. We also offer many other Web Accessibility Training courses. Sign up today to get help from a live instructor.