For the past several months, I have been itching for a new theme (design and layout) for my blog. This theme is not as accessible as it should be. The code doesn’t validate and other accessibility features are lacking – and this is really frustrating me, given what I do when I’m sure not blogging.
I have tweaked this theme as much as possible without knowing any PHP programming. Learning to design my own themes is definitely on my to-do list, eventually. Until then, I need a theme that is more accessible – accessibility is a continuum, not an absolute – than this one.
I’ve searched and searched for accessible WordPress themes, with very little success. Then I began thinking, “What is an accessible theme? What criteria should a theme meet and what features should a theme have to be considered ‘accessible’?“
Before an accessible theme can be designed, the necessary requirements must be identified. Here’s a list that instantly came to mind:
- The code validates with no errors.
- A fluid design that displays correctly at different resolutions and on various monitors from large screens to small handheld devices.
- Maximized colour contrast between the text and background to enhance readability.
- Relative sized fonts, rather than fixed size, enabling readers to increase font size when needed.
- “skip to content” and/or “skip to navigation” features to assist those using screen readers and keyboards to navigate the page more easily.
- An attractive layout and design with plenty of white space.
However, this list is only a beginning. Allow this post to spark a discussion between blog readers with various disabilities, theme designers, web accessibility gurus, and whomever else is interested. Share your ideas and thoughts on:
- What an “accessible” theme means to you?
- What features does an accessible theme need to have?
- What features would be nice to have?
- What do theme designers need to know about creating accessible themes?
- What questions do theme designers have about web accessibility? What information and resources do you need?
The floor is open. Let’s talk! All that I ask is that you be respectful of one another.If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a cafe mocha. Thanks kindly.