August 19th Plone Tune-Up Focuses on Improving Plone's Accessibility

by Mark Corum last modified Aug 01, 2011 08:54 PM
The August 2011 Tune-Up aims to improve users' experience by improving accessibility in Plone.

From its earliest versions, accessibility has been something Plone has been known for doing well - and which has always been important in the education, non-profit, and government sectors.  As the web has become more and more THE way people do business and get information, accessibility for all websites has moved from being an issue of doing things well to providing fair and equal access which is expected and often legislated.

The August 19th Plone Tune-Up will be tackling the issue of how to help make Plone more accessible to all. The  goal of the event will be to improve the accessibility of viewing for users who require assistive technologies like screen readers.

The team at Weblion has put a lot of effort, research and thought into this issue and are helping to organize the Tune-Up. They will serve as experts for the day, helping people get started on tickets and answering questions throughout the event.

Testing performed by Weblion found that the improvements needed for Plone falls into two main categories:
* accessibility of *viewing* content (not logged in)
* accessibility of *authoring* content

Since *viewing* affects the largest number of users by far, the Tune-Up will focus on this first. The Weblion team has started to create and organize tickets for the Tune-Up at http://dev.plone.org/plone/report/56. These tickets are aimed at addressing the important parts of the WCAG specs. Some of the tickets have quick and easy solutions, but others may be more time-consuming. We will need a lot of volunteers to clear this list, especially since the people performing QA will need to test the solutions on multiple screen readers (just like we test on multiple browsers). Please feel free to create additional tickets and tag them with milestone 4.2 and keyword accessibility.

The accessibility theme will be a recurring one during upcoming Tune-Up days as we work to take care of some mid- and long- term issues.  Future work on Plone's accessibility will include ARIA, authoring, JavaScript, and updating for the accessibility & validation statement.

We hope you will take the time to participate in the August 19th Accessibility Tune-up for Plone.  If you have any questions, please contact Carol Ganz at carol@sixfeetup.com or visit the Plone Tuneups web page at http://plone-tuneup.ning.com.