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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bloggers Unite for People with Disabilities: Accessible Blogs

Well, I didn't make the 7/24/2010 deadline for this round of Bloggers Unite; I was going to find out how to make my blogs accessible to all. Silly me, I though this would be a no-big-deal kind of thing to do. Wrong.

I should really learn to research these things BEFORE I make commitments about doing them. I'm living and learning, and although I'm late for the event, I wanted to at least report back what I found out.

First I went to WAVE, a Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool that I found on the Blogger's Unite for People with Disabilities page, and plugged my blog's address in. That told me everything that was wrong with my blog regarding accessibility. And that's all. No clue as to how to fix it. Or if there are any clues, I'm too clueless to pick up on them.

So I went back to the Bloggers Unite for People with Disabilities page and put in this comment:

sherrillynn

Any hints on how to make a site/blog 100% accessible?

16 days ago
I'm going to try to make my blog (theiciexperience.blogspot.com) 100% accessible for the People First event. I have no idea how to do it and the Wave site that tells me some things about what's wrong with my blog (wave.webaim.org/) has no clues about what to do to fix it. I'm going to research this, but any helpful hints would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

 I was pleased when the good folks at BlogCatalog responded within a couple of days:


14 days ago BlogCatalog wrote:

I am sure we can help you. Let me contact some people I know that I think will have some info for you and I'll post here when I get some replies.

A few days before the event deadline this comment was posted:


BlogCatalog

Questions about web accessibility

8 days ago
A few people have asked if there are resources that explain to bloggers how to fix problems a site evaluator may point out to them about their site. I asked blogger @GlendaWH if she had any suggestions and she responded:


Two great resources for web accessibility are the Web Accessibility Initiative - www.w3.org/WAI/, and WebAIM - www.webaim.org/.

However, I am finding that blog accessibility is different than web accessibility, even though the underlying principles are the same. Instead of a web team working together, with blogs, there's the platform, the theme, the plugins/widgets and the blogger. The average blogger can do only so much in terms of accessibility.

Hope this helps those of you who had questions and thanks Glenda for sharing your knowledge with me and the rest of the event.

So.  For now, no accessibility for those of us with blogs using existing platforms (Blogger, WordPress, etc.) But I feel like progress has definitely been made in that this information is out there now for others to find.

It seems to me that the next thing to do is to make our desire to have accessible blogs clear to the platform providers.  Are ya hearing' me, Blogger?


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bloggers Unite for People with Disabilities

From the good folks at BlogCatalog, another great blogging event:


From the email I received notifying me of the event:
Dear Fellow Blogger,
As bloggers, you and I have the unprecedented ability to raise awareness about important issues by simply posting about them. When we act on behalf of a cause and then write about it, we dramatically increase the positive impact we can have on the world.
Today, I am asking you to take action on behalf of all the people around the world living with a disability. Just like those of us who are able-bodied, they simply want to live a happy and productive life. Help us eliminate the barriers to participation and the prejudices they face every day by taking a simple action. You can donate to an organization that supports people with disabilities, sign an online petition asking for equal access, make your blog 100% accessible. Then write about it. Tell others how important it is to make all the opportunities our world has to offer accessible to everyone. Tell them how easy it is to get involved and how good it feels to help others.
On July 24, 2010, BloggersUnite is asking bloggers from all around the world to unite in support of people with disabilities. Please join us! http://www.bloggersunite.org/event/people-first-empowering-people-with-disabilities
Thanks for reading. Have a great day.
Sincerely,
Jason Teitelman

I'm going to try figure out how to make my blog 100% accessible, then I'll write about that, among other things on my mind regarding this issue, on the 24th of July.  According to this Web Accessability Tool I found in the comments section of the Bloggers Unite: People First page, I have my work cut out for me!

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