Ok for all those who don’t know me I am a person with visual impairment, I am becoming blind and I have a huge obsession when it comes to cheat sheets, posters and using the white board. When I saw moz news letter the first thing is this SEO cheat sheet and I took a look at it. Ok the cheat sheet content is great but more than that Danny’s story captured my attention. Even I also made a bucket list on raghava’s blog…Danny you inspired me I will work hard and make all the money necessary to fulfill my dreams and finish that bucket list.
I will be speaking at digital marketing summit that is going to take place in Hyderabad on Sep 29th, I thought to present on accessibility and go beyond basics. Since this conference is focused on digital marketing rather than core accessibility I thought to do little basics of accessibility and how it can fit in search optimization strategy. But after thinking a lot I want to go beyond this now, I will be doing couple of live reviews of various websites that I visit and it’s going to be really interesting one.
What you will learn from my presentation,
How to create accessible content
How to create great user experience without compromising on accessibility
How to structure your web pages for better SEO
How accessibility will fit into your inbound marketing strategy when you make your applications accessible.
Ideas are still forming in my mind and I am sure this is going to be a great content rich presentation. I am looking forward to do the live site reviews and I will be picking socialsamosa.com, paulwriter.com, digitalsrc.com etc…Need to finalize on which portals I will pick and if there is any specific portal just drop it in comments section.
Want to register for the event then please head to the website www.digitalmarketingsummit.in and get all the necessary details.
In my last post I outlined few of the common techniques of making your blog accessible on any platform and now here I will share few of the resources that can help your wordpress accessible as it is the most common blogging platform and my favorite content management system.
This presentation gives a lot of information about wordpress accessibility and I remember seeing the video of this presentation but unable to find it now. I read the text version of slides and being an accessibility specialist would like to listen to the video for technical aspects. Once I get hold of the video link will be pasted below. Must say text version off the slide gave me the feel that this content is worth spending time and energy.
I met a lot of blogger’s in last few years who often keep asking me the same question How to make our blog content accessible? I thought to answer the question over here. Most of the blog platforms out there are accessible but there are few ground rules if followed will make sure that your content is readable by visually challenged readers.
- Choose accessible blogging platform
- Describe your images
- Avoid read more and click here links
- Add widgets on the right hand side
- Use appropriate font
- check if all forms have labels
- Choose accessible blogging platform
Choosing the right platform is the key factor in making your content accessible. I personally prefer wordpress as it is the most accessible platform both at the backend and frontend. I worked with joomla and drupal earlier but don’t prefer them as drupal confused me with its backend and navigational elements of joomla in the backend are not very much accessible.
Even people with visual impairment can easily signup at wordpress.com for the first time and can start blogging. So choose wordpress either self hosted or wordpress.com one.
Describe your images
Most frustrating part for any screen reader user while rereading a blog post is images without alternative text. For example you are explaining a story and put a picture and a scene of the story is understood by looking at the picture, how will a person with visual impairment will understand this? So add appropriate alternative text to all images, wordpress provides this option when you add pictures.
Tips for better alternative text
Keep the text brief.
If there is a graphic with words on it then add a text version of it.
If there is a creative picture then explain the picture, this way you create new content.
Avoid Click Here and Read more
Often I find blog posts containing click here to know more or links that do not provide descriptive text. Avoid this methodology as it may confuse the screen reader user. Best practice is to provide with full text like “click here to download the software” or “read more about this technology”.
Add widgets on your right hand side
Screen readers read any web page from left to right so it is important for us to avoid adding any widgets that may confuse the user. In wordpress most widgets can be added in the left hand side, right hand side or in the footer area. If you are trying to present something valuable user then break the rule of using left hand side widget and please do mention the same by providing an accessibility policy.
Use proper fonts
Look and feel of a blog is dependent on the theme used so choose your themes carefully because apart from screen reader users there is a large portion of low vision users. Since browsers like internet explorer and Mozilla can zoom in and zoomout the text, test the font once it is chosen.
Check if all forms have labels
I often see that search area, comment forms and subscribe to blog forms lack proper labeling. Screen reader users cannot understand how to take action if the forms are not properly labeled.
Here is a sample of a text field that has been labeled correctly:
< label for=”email”>E-mail :</label> < input type=”text” name=”email” id=”email” size=”20″>
Note that the ID and LABEL FOR must be equal to the same value.
All these actions can be full filled easily if you got a blog on wordpress as it is the most accessible CMS platform. In my next post I will take you through a list of plug-ins that can make your wordpress more robust in terms of accessibility.
As part of Global accessibility awareness day on May 9th there are couple of events that are taking place in India, I want to draw the attention to these events so that product designers, web designers, marketers, developers etc can understand the pain points and create inclusive applications/products.
If you are some one who don’t know what is accessibility or thinking to venture into the field of accessibility these events will help you gain knowledge and help you connect with accessibility practitioners.
Did you hear that May 9th will be Global Accessibility Awareness Day and a lot of events are being planned across the globe? Do you live in Chennai and want to celebrate? PayPal India Pvt Ltd invites you attend a panel discussion on “Building accessible web” on 9th May 2013 – 13:30 Hrs to 19:00 Hrs. for more information please check the event page at
A free webinar introducing digital accessibility directed at product managers, web developers, web designers, mobile app devs, and software testers organized by Barrier Break & NASSCOM Foundation timed locally for India
If you cannot make to the physical location of the event please do attend the webinar and yes do follow the twitter stream #gaad2013
Global Accessibility Awareness Day is a community-driven effort whose goal is to focus one day to raise the profile of digital (web, software, mobile app/device, touch screen kiosk, etc.) accessibility and people with different disabilities.
If you haven’t heard about buddypress then please head on to buddypress.org and check out what it is…Buddypress is a plug-in that enables any self hosted wordpress blog into a niche social network. From last few months I am playing with this cool new plug-in and really got hooked to it and decided to build Digital Challenger using buddypress because a niche social community gives more power and leverage in the marketing space.
Recently buddypress community announced buddypress 1.7 which is a revolutionary release I have been waiting for this version so as to give my community a great design and features. Here are some of the features of buddypress 1.7 which are my favorite,
Awesome and my most loving feature of buddypress 1.7 is theme compatibility….in earlier versions of buddypress we need to use buddypress compatible themes and for a non technical guy like me this was frustrating. Now I am running my buddypress powered sites on Canvas woo themes which my designer added with ease. Everything seems working smoothly as off now and while we are working on the design phase, our community is ready to start its activity.
The most frustrating aspect of running a social network is to manage spam and in buddypress I have seen robots creating profiles and groups. While the users are easily managed from the backend, going to each group and deleting them became a huge time consuming task. Now we can manage and delete groups with a click of a button from the backend. This feature helped me to delete more than 10-15 spam groups on digital challenger recently.
While these two features are my favorite there are other improvements and hundred of bug fixes for this release. You can check this article 7 exciting new features in buddypress 1.7 or the following video
Buddypress support is a very active community and i recommend to post any questions orproblems you are facing with your buddypress installation.
When I spoke at the Indi SEO conference in Ahmadabad on the topic How Web accessibility and usability can improve your search rankings and conversions, I gave a deeper thought and decided to put a killer list of tools that can help any web master to check their web pages for accessibility issues.
Web Accessibility Testing Tools
Wave is a power full tool provided by Webaim.org, this online tools checks your web page for good and bad points and will provides a detailed web accessibility report.
If you are not interested to run web accessibility testing on online version of the Wave tool, you can use the Firefox plug-in and perform an accessibility check for each of the web page. This is mostly recommended as the online tool cannot perform the testing for password protected pages and dynamically generated pages.
FAE is also an online accessibility evaluator like wave… The Functional Accessibility Evaluator (FAE) analyzes web pages for markup that is consistent with the use of iCITA HTML Best Practices . This is built and managed by university of Illinois.
FAE has got a Mozilla fire fox plug-in to check the accessibility of web pages that can help you test password protected and dynamically generated pages.
World Wide Web consortium has a massive list of web accessibility tools. Please check when they are updated last and use with caution as some of them might be out of date.
I haven’t used this plug-in so can’t speak much about it now. Will run my own test and will provide my review soon. Here is a bit of description from the plug-in page, Fangs renders a text version of a web page similar to how a screen reader would read it. The ambition is to help developers understand how an assistive device would resent a website and thereby increase chances of finding accessibility issues early.
I don’t have much experience using these tools as I am visually challenged my self and can’t comment much on the color contrast and visual design.
Below links will help you find the authoring practices and more in depth knowledge on web accessibility.
If all the following resources are read and implemented accordingly i can assure that you will achieve a mile stone in terms of creating a highly rich site which can bring you more leads and sales. If you come across any resources links and other things which might be interesting to share let me know in comments section and i will see to that it gets added .
We know that there are thousands of blogs & content available to teach you how to make money online, so i want to differentiate myself from them & would like to bring a new perspective. While i get the site ready if you are interested to hear from me when the site launches please subscribe to my E-Mail news letter, like my facebook page & start following me on twitter.