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Is wordpress accessible? So far no

01/09/2009

Is wordpress accessible for Deaf / Disabled people – so far no!

I’m new to blogging, this is my first day – I want to get it right. I need your help

Thumbs Down: image is of a 3D keyboard button with a white hand, cuffed outlined (in thumbs down position) stamped on it. Also stamped on top of the button is a light red swirling symbol.

My priorities is that this blog must be accessible.

It must incorporate full access – I’d be hypocritical otherwise that means my friends and other can access it regardless of disability, reading needs etc.

I know my first blog is word heavy. I want to ensure it has:

  • a good font style – Ariel 14pt as standard
  • include audio transcripts of my blogs
  • include BSL/subtitled audio description transcripts of my blogs
  • alt tags so any images are accompanied by a description
  • get rid of any un-necessary clutter on each page
  • sort out the shortcut so tabs work across the page
  • navigates easily – and makes sense
  • find a way to incorporate widgets (check out Eden Project’s use of Points developed with Widgets http://www.edenproject.com/

Have I missed anything out? I can only get it right with your help. So contact me.

So what’s wrong with wordpress? This is my impression so far

  • navigation – the tab only allows you to either type in a new website address or jump to search the web (on my mac anyway)
  • Font style and size is terrible – it uses Georgia, you can’t increase it online; the basic requirements are to avoid sans-serif so … I have to type using pages then copy it into the blog
  • Colour contrast – black on white. How do I change the background contrast?- crap if you are dyslexic like me or need good contrast?
  • Bullet points are light grey – I can hardly see them
  • I’m still trying to find out how to update my layout – I’ll get there

So what else doesn’t work? Please contact me and let me know

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. 02/09/2009 11:02

    The concerns here are nothing to do with WordPress as a platform: they are part of the theme, and you can change the theme.

    If you host WordPress yourself, you have complete control of the templates, html and css.

  2. 02/09/2009 11:25

    Also, if you use it, there are plenty of people on Twitter (myself included) who are happy to help with WordPress questions 🙂

  3. 04/09/2009 17:08

    Welcome to the world of blogging.

    Some of the stuff you are asking for isn’t what you would reasonably expect in a free out of the box blogging platform, but that said you can add plugins and change the template to suit your needs.

    The wordpress hosted sites do not give huge amounts of functionality unless you start paying for upgrades 😦 but for free they suit most peoples needs.

    Your needs and those of your visitors are different but should be achievable.

    When you say tab I assume you mean being able to press tab to jump between fields on the page? Tab will move the cursor to the next bit of content such as a tags. Can you elaborate on this so we can help?

    You can increase the font size by using ctrl & + regardless of font. You can add CSS to the template to manipulate the look of the theme.

    Contrast, you need to look at different themes there are 75 on the hosted WP site that you can use and tweek

    Bullet points these again are theme based

    Layout some of this is theme based, IE 2 or 3 column layouts and some like the side bars are configurable by going to appearance then widgets and you can drag pre made widgets on to the side bars.

    This is only very brief but I hope it helps in some way.

    As Michael says you can ask Twitter or contact us at Talk About Local and we’ll see how we can help you

    • peskypeople permalink*
      04/09/2009 17:19

      Hi Mike,
      Finding my way around wordpress now and really appreciate your comments and advice. Just found your message after much searching.

      I thought I’d use the blog to also document how I’m getting on being a blogging virgin so to speak and also from an access point of view. The more I can feedback I hope will also help other disabled writers too.

      Accessibility – I was looking at this from not for me but for other disabled visitors to the site to be able to navigate between the url, headings, blog content, categories, pictures etc. (I might not have the right terminology yet sorry).

      Fonts:
      I’ll try increasing the font size as you say – how do you know when it’s 14pt? How do you change the font so it changes to Ariel? I don’t want a san serif type font. I’m dyslexic and it makes my eyes fuzzy.

      CSS – I’ll get there once I know what it means and what it can do – any suggestions?

      The template I’m using seemed to be visually (to me) the easiest way to present – if you have any other great ideas let me know I could use them. I’m needing some help putting in some pictures and adding the shortcuts to Twitter, facebook etc. I want it to look good too as well as accessible.

      Once I get the hang of all that I’m looking at uploading video so that I can present BSL format to my blogs and also audio.

      Training – is there anywhere I can go – especially for 1 to 1 – I’m a quick learner and just need a good short session of an hour. Group training is nightmare for me.

      You wouldn’t guess I used to programme Oracle SQL SQL+ at college (some 20 yrs ago).

      Big thanks again and will have a few other questions to ask – if that’s ok?

  4. 10/09/2009 10:12

    Hi Alison,

    The tabbing between form controls, and not links, is a (IMHO totally dumb) default behavour in OSX and Safari. You can change it by opening System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse and changing ‘Full keyboard access’ from ‘Textboxes and lists only’ to ‘All controls’. That should let you tab through all the links on any web page.
    Henny Swan talks about this a bit on her blog: http://www.iheni.com/using-opera-10-beta-with-voiceover/

  5. 10/09/2009 10:32

    I completely forgot to mention Bruce Lawson’s WordPress accessibility hacks too: http://www.brucelawson.co.uk/2005/wordpress-accessibility-hacks/

    • 10/09/2009 15:12

      Hi Jim,
      Big thanks, I had set the changes to full keyboard access but still only jumps between the form controls on any site including BCC. Maybe it’s me and my mac. Thanks for your advice and useful links to check out … I have a lot to learn..

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