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Blog Challenge: Testing Your Blog’s Accessibility

I’ve talked a lot over the years about how important it is to design your website or blog to be accessible. There is a growing number of bloggers and blog readers who are reading your blog right now with a screen reader which reads your blog to them, or some other magnification or screen customization tool or device that enables the visually or physically impaired to read and communicate with their computers and the web.

Have you tested your blog’s design for web standards for accessibility?

This week’s blog challenge is:

Test your blog’s design for web standards for accessibility.

This is more than just a test and challenge for you to fix your blog’s design so it meets web standards for accessibility. I want you to learn more about what it your design looks like to those who can’t see like you do. I want you to learn more about how people use the web so you can help your blog be easy to use, by everyone and anyone, from cell phone access to the color blind.

I’m going to get you started with some resources, but there are a lot of resources out there to test your web page design for various accessibility issues.

View of a web page using Lynx, a text based web browserA while ago, I took on this challenge for myself. In Views of a Web Page, I picked one web page on my blog and ran it through all the different screen resolutions, sizes, eye tests, and accessibility tests I could find at the time. I did screen captures of my web page design for each test and published it as an example of how many ways a web page can be viewed. Putting your own blog’s design through a similar torture test would be a great example of what is possible and not possible of your design for yourself and of interest to your readers.

I look forward to hearing about the things you learn about your blog’s design through this challenge. I think we all have a lot to learn about how people really use our blogs and how things are improving for the visually impaired and disabled, but only if we want them to improve and help them.

Here are some resources and information on tests for web standards and accessibility for web page design. Some of the links may be old or non-functioning, as some of these sites come and go over time, but it’s a good start in the right direction.

These are published weekly and are an attempt to kick your blogging ass. They serve to challenge your thinking and efforts in blogging and blog writing. To participate, start challenging yourself now. Today. Go for it.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

7 Comments

  1. Posted February 7, 2008 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I found five Warnings for the Same colors for color and background-color in two contexts (.tagged a:hover and a:visited) on all five, in flicker widgets that aren’t used. They are carry over from the original non-modified “cutline” theme.

    Not bad from a guy that has no clue what I’m doing–I just do what I’m told. And I don’t know how to fix these problems.

  2. Posted February 7, 2008 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    @ chaplainandrews:

    If I understand you right, the CSS errors are from widgets you don’t use. So remove the calls for the Widgets. Clean them out of the Theme. Open up the theme’s template file which hosts the widgets and remove the code that calls them. How to Install, Configure, and Use WordPress Plugins and Finding Your CSS Styles in WordPress may help.

    Or edit your styles.css or whatever stylesheet these Widgets use with those styles and change the colors to be different. One red, the other green. :D

    Or ignore them. If they aren’t being used, these kinds of errors are minor compared to other accessibility issues like titles in links and ALT descriptions in images.

    I tested your blog’s front page for HTML errors and found over 100. These all need to be fixed, but this isn’t the challenge as much as it is looking at how your blog will work across all browsers and uses.

  3. Posted February 7, 2008 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Busted! Ouch:) Thank you for the links–It looks like I have my work cut out for me.

  4. Posted February 9, 2008 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Update: Through looking at my validation and working with some friends from my authority blogger forum…I’ve removed the errors down to 9 by removing the widgets. It is at about 32 errors right now, because I’m trying to fix them. Point is most of the errors are in the widgets themselves.

  5. Posted June 16, 2008 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    I am proud to say my blog is XHTML Strict 1.0 valid. And I am benefiting from all the search engine queries too!

  6. Posted September 30, 2008 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    I found the updated w3c markup validator is not as strict as validome..cmiiw

  7. LocustoAukcije
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    This is a topic that is often neglected in webmaster world. Most people don’t consider that having a valid code might make your content accessible to a certain person or not.


3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Many times, we don’t seem to see these people–and we may not be able to tell who they are, if they are not totally vision impaired–but they are living in the world of the unknown and doing it fearlessly. Many of them are reading our blogs and comments. We need to make our blogs as accessible as possible. [...]

  2. [...] working on a weekly challenge that I do for Comic Book Day, I was issued a challenge to get my site accessible for people with [...]

  3. [...] Blog Challenge: Testing Your Blog’s Accessibility « Lorelle on WordPress « Daily Digest for 2009-03-22 [...]

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