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WordPress and Accessibility

I like using WordPress for its lower learning curve (compared with other open source CMSs like Drupal) and many other features that I can use to create a website – especially as a designer. I attended the camp in NYC twice with the most recent one earlier this summer.

I learned a lot from workshops at the camp and networking with other attendees. I’ve tried using the software myself and found their documentation easy to use. It’s good to be able to do most of design and front-end work without having to tweak much of the back-end code except for customizing functions and plugins.

One caveat is that WordPress is not fully accessible. There’s even a mislabeling for the image title attribute that is required instead of the ALT attribute – one of the most basic and important accessibility features. While there are some accessible themes and plugins available, it would be nice to see all of them accessible to choose from without having to tweak them.

Here’s a list what I have found so far about WordPress accessibility:

Kudos to Graham Armfield from UK who has advocated to make WP more accessible. He wrote a blog post regarding his accessibility presentation at WordCamp UK 2012.

Last, but not least, none of the videos on are captioned for millions of deaf and hard of hearing, and in the players that do not have captioning feature – which causes frustrations for deaf web designers like myself. I applaud for using YouTube for all of their online videos – even with auto captions that not of the acceptable quality, but they can be easily cleaned up manually or replaced by a good transcript with a timestamp to make it easy to read for those who need it.

If you are interested in volunteering to clean up captions (by following the guidelines) for WPNYC videos, please contact them – your help would be greatly appreciated! Also, if any organizations are interested in sponsoring professional transcribing vendors to caption WPNYC videos, that’s even better!

Also, I was honored to be asked by Steve at WP NYC to present about web accessibility at one of their meetups in October. It was great to see an interest from that group in learning about it, because currently 97% of websites are not accessible. My presentation covers only some basics of web accessibility. It takes more time and practice to understand what it takes to make websites accessible beyond just adding “alt” attributes to images. It would be good for more website owners and developers to know at least some basic components of websites that could be made accessible.

My presentation is posted online. The captions were also cleaned up which I appreciate. And thanks to interpreters who voiced for me.

By the way, usability and accessibility are some of my specializations. Let me know if you would like me to do audits of your websites, give classes/trainings/presentations, and/or work on accessibility projects.

Published in Accessibility

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