One of my biggest online pet-peeves is opening a webpage that buries its content in pop-ups and distracting advertisements. For people who may easily experience sensory overload due to a disability like traumatic brain injury, Autism, or ADHD, pop-ups and distracting advertisements can change the online experience from a useful tool for gathering information for independence to a troublesome hindrance for distraction and delay.

Man at a table with his laptop with a look of frustration on his face.

Luckily, there are several different ways people can change their online experience from frustratingly distracting to focused on what is important. Through this blog, we will explore Safari’s built-in accessibility tool for de-cluttering websites called Safari Reader.

The Safari Reader feature strips a webpage of distracting content like extra pictures, advertisements, and pop-ups so that articles can be read in their simplest form. Not all webpages can be simplified through the Safari Reader feature. You can tell if the website can be simplified by a line-style icon in the left corner of the URL bar. Just tap it once to simplify the article, and tap it again to go back to the original webpage.

Simplify the website by selecting the line-style icon in the left corner of the URL bar.

The result is a  distraction free webpage.   To return to the  original webpage, click the line-style icon again.

Safari Reader works with Speak Selection and VoiceOver, to provide auditory reinforcement for individuals with low vision, blindness, or those who need extra support.

If you are not a Safari user, check out a few of the web extensions below that also make the online experience less distracting!

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