[Athen] Worpress/accessibility question

Wink Harner winkharner at mesacc.edu
Wed Mar 30 19:12:50 PDT 2011

Thanks everyone. Your comments supported my initial thoughts. I received it from a math teacher who is totally engaged in technology and doesn't quite "get" the accessibility/useability of it. I especially liked Hadi's explanation --very clear!


----- Original Message -----
From: "Prof Norm Coombs" <norm.coombs at gmail.com>
To: "Access Technology Higher Education Network" <athen at athenpro.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 6:41:40 PM
Subject: Re: [Athen] Worpress/accessibility question

I agree with Hadi.

I find access keys a very poor solution to pages that are designed poorly
in the first place.

Granted, in my advancing age I have learned a ton of keys for windows, more
for a screen reader and more if I sometimes us a second screen
reader. Then more in Excel if I need it to read cell comments and other
features that the screen normally does not reveal automatically. Then PDF
readers have even more access keys.

When I go into a Web conference where the arrow or tab won't get me to
important items but they try to fix it with access keys, I just turn off my
brain. How many special key combinations can I remember and especially
when I have to remember which application I am using and which keys go for
it and not another........

To tell the truth, I wouldn't have tackled that much trivial memorization
when I was 40 years younger.

Call me lazy or maybe access keys are really a poor way to solve problems.
At 11:19 AM 3/30/2011, you wrote:

>Content-Language: en-US

>Content-Type: multipart/alternative;




>"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" xmlns:o =

>"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" xmlns:w =

>"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" xmlns:m =


>Hi Wink,


>I responded to this topic earlier at one of our local mailing list. See

>below and hope it helps.


>There are a few fact that we need to know about access keys:

>1. Access keys are useful as long as there are only a limited numbers of

>them and are used consistently across the domain.

>2. Access keys frequently overlap with OS, browser, and assistive

>technology shortcut keys. As long as the end-user can specify the access

>keys to desired functions in an application, then it makes sense but

>according to the article


>"One of these Omeka plugins, called Access Keys, allows site

>administrators to specify

>access keys

> (or keyboard shortcuts) for navigating around Omeka. People who are

> blind do not navigate Web sites through a graphical user interface; they

> usually rely

>exclusively on their keyboard. Access keys are time-saving shortcuts that

>allow them to navigate quickly and easily. For instance, an administrator could

>specify that the access key "s" would be reserved for loading the "Search"

>page, the "h" key could be reserved for the "Home" page, the "a" key for the

>"About" page, and so on."


>the administrator assigns the access keys. And this is the problem. how

>the admin knows what access keys doesn't interfere with my

>OS/browser/assistive technology shortcut keys.

>This is similar to that an admin choose the best color setting for the

>users. I believe we all do have our color preferences and administrators

>should not impose their color preferences to the end users.

>The optimal option is to provide the mechanism that end-user specifies

>his/her access keys within a domain depending on his/her OS/browser/AT



>I personally think access keys cause more problems for AT users than

>helping them. We really don't need to invest too much energy into access

>keys solution. An application with logical heading structures/landmarks

>doesn't need access keys very much. They are helpful if we are dealing

>with pages/forms that we access repetitively.








>From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On

>Behalf Of Wink Harner

>Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 12:29 PM

>To: DSSHE-L at LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU; 'Access Technology Higher Education Network'

>Subject: [Athen] Worpress/accessibility question


>Hi all,




>Forgive cross-posting.




>Received this from a colleague today and am curious as to your collective

>(wise!) thoughts about Wordpress and accessibility for Blind users.




>Here is the link to the higher ed article about a plugin for wordpress to

>help blind people.






>Your input, as always, is welcome.








>Athen mailing list

>Athen at athenpro.org


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Once you choose hope, anything's possible. Christopher Reeve
Norman Coombs norm.coombs at gmail.com

Making Online Teaching Accessible: Inclusive Course Design for Students
with Disabilities by Norman Coombs published by Jossey-Bass Oct 10,2010

Athen mailing list
Athen at athenpro.org

Ms. Wink Harner
Disability Resources & Services
Mesa Community College
1833 W. Southern Avenue
Mesa AZ 85201

winkharner at mesacc.edu

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