[Athen] Passing on a question re discussion board accessibility

Joshua Hori jhori at ucdavis.edu
Fri Dec 18 12:33:51 PST 2015

Hey Norm!

You may want to try PHPBB. Here's the link to download: https://www.phpbb.com/downloads/
Marco's Accessibility Blog gives a little more detail: https://www.marcozehe.de/2009/04/07/why-are-web-forums-so-unpopular-with-the-blindness-community/

In a nutshell, PHPBB posts and replies are listed as headers to assist with navigating the forums.

One of the biggest hurdles you may face as an admin for PHPBB are the automated bots. If you implement captcha, you'll turn away a lot of blind users who have problems entering the verification code, and may lock out speech recognition users since that technology is recognized as a "bot". If you don't implement captcha, you're going to have a forum of bots constantly posting advertisements of who knows what all over your forums and you'll be playing cleanup more than you will be answering posts. It may be best to implement a service such as OpenID (http://openid.net/) to allow users to access your content using their G+, Yahoo, and Facebook account so users don't have to remember yet another login and you don't have to monitor account creation.

Another issue you may run into are users posting inaccessible content such as images with no alt text, or image signatures with no alt text. There's also emoticons, memes and forum plugins that may add inaccessible features.



-----Original Message-----
From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Prof Norm Coombs
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2015 10:30 AM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] Passing on a question re discussion board accessibility

I got this question.... Discussion boards used to be horrific, and as a result, I have avoided them and therefore don't feel competent to comment...Here is the question

"I wondered what you think is the most accessible easy to use forum/discussion board for the blind and physically handicapped. Thanks "

I know changes have been made and hopefully several here have kept up with the progress.


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