Welcome to the Aidis Trust blog. Here you’ll find our posts on assistive technology that are meant to inform and encourage discussion. Feel free to join in!

WordPress and Accessibility

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For those of you that don’t know, WordPress is the software used for the majority of blogs. It is also used to create many websites. Sounds daunting, right? Well, I thought so too, but ever since I’ve started using it, it has only surprised me by how easy and accessible it has been.

It is worth pointing out, that I didn’t set up the blog myself. My WordPress experience at present, comes exclusively from the work I do volunteering for The Aidis Trust, which was already a well-established blog when I started writing for it. All I have to do, is create and upload new content.

I use Jaws on my computer and have been pleasantly surprised by how easy it has been to access WordPress with keyboard short cuts. To give you a sense, let me talk a little about blogging. Hopefully, it will give you a starting point if you have to or want to use WordPress.

The way it worked with The Aidis Trust, is that when it was set up, WordPress sent me an email informing me of my username and advising me of how to create my password. That all worked easily enough. It also had a direct link to the login page for the WordPress part of The Aidis Trust blog. I would advise people if they are blogging, to favourite the login page on their computer. The reason being, is that it won’t be a simple link. Fiddly links can be troublesome to type in, let alone remember. It’s quicker than having to hunt back through the email history to find the original email. I did that recently before I came up with that idea and it was a tedious process.

So, the main part of blogging is creating that all important content. If you like, you can actually draft and edit your articles outside of WordPress and then copy and paste them when you’re happy with them. It’s what I do and works well for me. You can of course, write them directly on WordPress. You can choose whichever is easier for you based on personal preferences, as it shouldn’t make any difference to the published piece.

When you create a new post, WordPress asks you to enter a title. The edit boxes are just like anywhere else on the internet, for example when you search on Google or when you type in when sending emails online. So then, if you press tab, it will take you to the body of the article, where you either type or copy and paste. For clarity purposes, the copy and pasting short cuts are the same as anywhere else on the computer, like Microsoft Word, NotePad, the general Internet and so on.

Now, there are many things you can do to customise your article. For example, you will notice on web pages, there are headings. You will also notice, that there are links to other web pages. All these can be done with various shortcut keys. In the WordPress Codex, there is a really useful section on shortcut keys. If you Google: WordPress keyboard shortcuts, it should be the first result. It was when I did it just now. I can’t stress enough how useful this document will be to you if you need to use keyboard shortcuts. It tells you everything you need to know about keyboard shortcuts for WordPress. It’s that vital, I even highly recommend saving the page and making it in to a format that suits you. Here’s a quick link to the correct page:

https://codex.wordpress.org/Keyboard_Shortcuts

So, when you’ve finished doing all you need too to your post, you can submit it for review. You’ll likely have to do that all the time, unless it’s your own blog or unless someone tells you any different. No matter how small the organisation, they’ll likely have someone who oversees content.

If for some reason, you need to get in to the post again, you can do so relatively easily. You can access all your posts from the main page of the site’s WordPress. It will bring up a list. If the blog has hundreds of posts, it’s useful to use the filters to help you find the post you want. For example, you can filter by author or category.

I’ve also been on WordPress on my phone once which worked quite well too. Naturally, I wouldn’t want to write or edit on my phone, but I just needed to look at something and I happened not to be logged in to the computer, so I thought, why not? It all worked fine, I logged in, read what I needed to and then logged out, with no problem.

Overall, I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by how easy-to-use WordPress is for blind people. I think things like this really help to even the playing field for disabled people online. Thanks to the people who made WordPress for making it so accessible. It’s something I really appreciate and I’m sure I’m not alone.

Please comment below to share your experiences of WordPress or to ask any questions or let us know of any issues you are having with WordPress. We’d be more than happy to help.

 

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