I did a blog post many years ago reminding folks that The Internet is not a Black Box. Virtually nothing is hidden from you. The same is true for your computer, whether it runs Linux, Mac, or Windows.
Mailto link code and markup generator with subject, body, cc and bcc. Quickly and easily generate code for those annoying mailto links.
Clickable email addresses which allow your site’s visitors to send you email, (otherwise known as mailto links), can be quite handy, and they’re easy to generate if you type HTML as if it’s your first spoken language. If you don’t do that, they can seem like the hardest thing to create, and you have a couple of options for creating them: Google what you need and then save that information in a place you’ll hopefully remember, or just use this mailto link generator. Simply fill out the form appropriately, generate the HTML you need, and copy and paste. Note that if you’re doing this using a WordPress installation, you’ll want to switch your editor to the code view if you’re using the Classic Editor, or use the custom HTML block if you’re using the editor as of WordPress 5.0. You can also insert your generated mailto links in the custom HTML widget for use in any widgetized area your theme provides. See this post for a complete guide to WordPress widgets, which includes a section on the custom HTML widget.
Convert your images from PNG to JPG online and for free, applying proper compression methods.
By default, WordPress supports png files to its media library. However, some hosts, (including mine), will block some filetypes for security reasons. In my case, one of the off-limits filetypes is png (image) files. You can change this by either employing the appropriate filter through code in either your theme’s functions.php file or a custom functionality plugin, as long as your host is not already using the appropriate filter to block said filetypes. I don’t plan on spending my afternoon trying to guess the priority I need to use to try to get around this. You can allow any filetype to be uploaded through WordPress’s wp-config.php file. If your host is blocking certain filetypes from being uploaded for whatever reason, they will likely not appreciate your using the wp-config constant, because when I say allow all filetypes, I really do mean allow all filetypes, or at least all filetypes supported by your web server software, which is quite an extensive list and really could introduce some security issues due to the way WordPress handles attachments: They’re a post type. Since I find myself in a situation where I need to upload a png file to my site for use as a featured image for a post, I needed a solution that was none of these and that was also accessible to a screen reader user.
Dealing with images is difficult when you can’t see them. Converting between image formats without compromising the quality of the original image is also difficult. If you’re sighted, you’d probably open the original file in your favorite image manipulation software, tweek compression rates and other stuff, and then re-save in the format you need. Most image manipulation software is inaccessible however, and so this method is off limits. So, I needed to find a tool I could use.
PNG2JPG meets all my requirements, and it might meet yours as well. It has a very simple interface, including a traditional browse button for uploading files, and it will handle all the background compression for you and return a jpg file which perserves the quality of the image. You can then upload the returned file because it’s likely your host isn’t blocking jpg files since that’s the most common image format and they’d likely lose customers hand over fist, even if they could claim a security reason for blocking that format.
If you find yourself in the same position I did, this tool should hopefully save you a lot of time, at least if you’re converting png files to jpg and you don’t feel like pinging a sighted person who’s good with images and has the right kind of software. Enjoy, and I hope you find it useful.
During the 2016 State of the Word, it was announced that the wordPress editing experience would go through a complete redesign. As part of this redesign, the WordPress project is currently conducting a survey to find out how WordPress users experience and use the current editor. This applies to self-hosted WordPress, not WordPress.com.
Feedback from all users is important, not just from users who are advanced or who are completely familiar with how WordPress works, or who don’t use any assistive technologies. I’m taking the survey myself, and below I’ll outline some tips for screen reader users to be aware of so that taking the survey is as easy as possible, whether you’re an advanced screen reader user who spends his or her days scouring the internets, or not.
The first thing to note is on page two of the survey, where there are two sets of radio buttons. If you’re using NVDA, don’t tab through this screen. All the radio buttons have labels, but once you’re done tabbing through the first set, you’ll still be in browse mode, and focus will move to the second set. The question relating to that second set will not be in the tab order. If you do choose to tab through this screen, exit browse mode once you reach the second set of radio buttons.
The second question on page two refers to the markup editor, and is accompanied by a screenshot. The markup editor is the text or code editor.
The third question on this page is also accompanied by a screenshot, and “these buttons” refers to the series of buttons above the content field in the text editor.
On page five, instead of radio buttons or checkboxes, there are a series of comboboxes inside list elements. Page six asks a series of questions specific to screen reader users, and one of them asks if there are any accessibility issues you may be experiencing with the current experience. This applies to either the text or visual editor, and the text field will allow you to enter a lot of detail, so I would encourage you to do so. There’s also a question that asks if you use other assistive technologies along with a screen reader, so if you use multiple assistive technologies, make your voice heard. The last page is a couple of open-ended questions with standard edit fields for you to enter information.
I hope you find these tips useful, and that screen reader users make a point of taking this survey. WordPress’s mission is to democratize publishing, and screen reader and other assistive technology users are just as much a part of “everyone” as those who don’t use any assistive technology. The feedback you provide through this survey will help WordPress ensure that the new editor is accessible to as wide an audience as possible, so if you have the time, and you use a screen reader along with WordPress, I hope you’ll consider taking this survey.
Your content is the most important part of your website. It underpins your design, development, and your web accessibility efforts. You create good, usable content by developing and then implementing a content strategy.
If you’ve never done this, it can seem like an incredibly daunting task, especially if you’ve got lots of content. So I thought it might be helpful to put together a content strategy reading list. This list takes into account books that are also available in accessible formats, so it’s not that large. But each of the books listed here will help you get a handle on your content, and, if you’re aware of web accessibility and attempting to implement it on either your own website or on the websites you’re building for your clients, help you come to terms with the recommendations you’re getting from either WCAG itself, or from your web accessibility consultant.
Content Strategy for the Web, Second Edition, by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach
Content Strategy for the Web is the book I would recommend starting with. It doesn’t just present the case for content strategy. It also gives you a step-by-step path to follow in order to create a content strategy for yourself or your organization. It covers every aspect of content strategy without making it unenjoyable and without using highly technical language for the sake of it. It’s available as a Kindle e-book, but not in any other format that I’ve found that’s accessible. So I would suggest getting this from the Kindle store and reading it on your phone if you’re a screen reader user.
Content Everywhere: Strategy and Structure for Future-ready Content by Sara Wachter-Boettcher
This book covers content strategy as well, but goes beyond it to help you ensure that you don’t get stuck on the content treadmill. Creating content is a necessary task, but it’s a given that it’s not just consumed on websites, and content creators have no way of knowing how users prefer to consume that content. content Everywhere will help you take the content you’re creating and prepare it to be consumed in multiple ways, so that you don’t have to run to keep up with the ever-expanding reach of technology. Nobody wants to do that, not even those of us who love tech. Content Everywhere is available on Bookshare, which you can get access to if you’re a print-disabled individual. It’s also available on Kindle.
Content Strategy for Mobile by Karen Mcgrane
Content Strategy for Mobile focuses on helping content creators develop one content model that can adapt to both desktop and mobile devices, instead of developing content for desktop and then redeveloping that same content separately for mobile. Mobile is important, and in some parts of the world exceeds desktop usage. See also, my comments about the content treadmill above. This book is a sort of companion to Content Strategy for the web, and if you don’t read them at the same time, they should definitely be read one after the other. This book is also available on Bookshare for those with print disabilities, as well as on Kindle.
Content Strategy for WordPress by Stephanie Leary
Content Strategy for WordPress will help you take everything you’ve learned from the previous three books and implement it using WordPress. It goes through the technical details of designing and building a WordPress site around the content it contains, and gives coding-specific as well as user-specific information on how to implement the tips it suggests. Definitely a necessary edition to the library of anyone who’s building websites with WordPress along with the three books listed above. This book is available on Kindle, so see the notes about reading Kindle books above if you’re visually impaired.
All four of these books are entries on the list of books I keep open while I’m working. They serve as excellent reference material while I’m either creating content strategies for my own sites, or those I create for clients. I hope you find them useful, and happy reading.
IBM maintains one of the best accessibility checklists outside of the corpus of WCAG 2.0 and related documents. they’ve now updated it in anticipation of the upcoming Section 508 refresh, which is slated to happen by the end of this year. If IBM’s making huge changes to accommodate the promised upcoming refresh, that gives me a little more confidence that it will actually happen.
The IBM Web Accessibility Checklist is extremely thorough. It provides an extensive guide on using the list itself, as well as current WCAG 2.0 checks which are mapped to the upcoming 508 refresh. It also includes legacy requirements for the current version of Section 508. Yay backwards compatibility!
If you’re not comfortable with reading through WCAG 2.0 and its related documentation, a good checklist can be a great place to start. It doesn’t substitute for the guidelines themselves, (sorry, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and become familiar with them), but it can guide you through changes you may be making to your websites or web applications to ensure that the changes you make are also as inclusive as possible. A good checklist can also serve as a template if you’d like to create one for your own organization that specifically reflects your workflows and practices. If you need a guide to the basics of what should be part of any accessibility checklist you create, this post on the defensibility of accessibility checklists contains a high-evel view of what should be included.