Cyndy Otty

Introduction

Cyndy provides insight on issues affecting AT users to the WordPress community. She is available @ceotty and blogs at Gentle Wit. I asked her a few questions and she replied.

Shoe Size?

I’m a size 7. My guide dog, Uschi, wears a medium (2.5″) set of boots. ;-)

Pride?

Giving a voice to the reasons why certain features should be accessible. That “human” aspect of accessibility is sometimes lost because people don’t understand why such-and-such a thing should be altered. So, I’m glad to be able to present a different view to showcase usability.

Biggest Challenge?

Well, I’m the non-technical sort so by “work” I’m mostly just bringing awareness to things. I think the most difficult aspect of that is presenting it in a way that’s understandable and doesn’t undermine the positives that are already present. There are always compromises, but that doesn’t mean that anyone should have to sacrifice a feature that works how they want.

Change Most Needed?

We really need more people involved! There’s definitely a willingness to put accessibility as a higher priority, but it’s a tall order and without more people involved in every aspect it’s just an insurmountable task. I also think there has to be some give-and-take; it can’t only be the people who are interested in accessibility that work on this, but also cooperation from the other side as well. Coding from the ground up with accessibility in mind is always the best practice, but I admit it is not easy to do.

Graham Armfield

Introduction

Graham plays a pivotal role in the WordPress volunteer accessibility group and demonstrates a true understanding of WordPress culture. He is available @coolfields and offers WordPress and web design services at Coolfields Consulting and also does accessibility testing on websites – both large and small. I asked him a few questions and he replied.

Shoe Size?

10 (UK size)

Pride?

My presentation at WordCamp UK last July and the warm reception I received, coupled with the trac tickets I raised as a result contributed to a11y improvements in 3.5 and hopefully some wider understanding of a11y in WP theme and plugin developers.

Biggest Challenge?

The fact that I’m really busy on client work. It means that I struggle to be on the case consistently.

Change Most Needed?

The moment when Cyndy Otty @ceotty and Dave Martin @lessbloat were communicating during the IRC chat on February 6 about the menus issue was priceless. So I think that people like Cyndy need to be more in direct communication with the WP devs – to help them understand the difficulties some people face. I’d also like to see accessibility become an overt part of WordPress’s mission statement. If Matt could be persuaded of the value of it and how the lack of accessibility within WP tarnishes his whole democratisation of content thing – then things could be very different.

Rian Rietveld

Introduction

Rian has worked on accessible WordPress themes and plugins like the accessible Twitter to WordPress plugin used on this site available on her GitHub repository. She is available @RianRietveld she offers WordPress and web development services at RRWD Web Development. When I asked her some questions, Rian replied: “I answered the questions twice, serious and not serious, you pick the answers you need.” So I leave it to you to pick the answers you prefer to read.

Shoe Size?

My shoe size is 9.5 American size, 40 European size. (Maybe time for standards for shoe sizes too?)

Alternate answer: Ha, great! A girl can never have enough shoes. These please: Dune Pump Calm.

Pride?

The most rewarding of the accessibility work is the response and gratitude I get from disabled web users. I’m proud to contribute to a more accessible internet.

Alternate answer: Proud of the fact that after a few posts I’m bombarded with questions of users who think I’m the one to ask for basic WordPress advice and solve all their problems for free.

Biggest Challenge?

The single most challenging aspect is getting a grip on the complexity of it all. Solving problems in HTML/CSS/PHP/Javascript for all the different browsers and assistive technology and all different kinds of disabilities. Hard like proper programming for Internet Explorer version 6, times 100.

Alternate answer: Trying to overcome my shyness, to discuss and disagree with people that know way more than I (well, actually, that’s a serious answer too.)

Change Most Needed?

I think with the Make WordPress Accessible group things are going into a good direction. But the main problem is the lack of knowledge with programmers. So… education, information and a few essential guidelines for plugin/theme developers in the codex?

Alternate answer: Plugin and theme developers should be required to show their work to their mother or grandmother, maybe then they’d discover, for example, that a grey site with grey characters is pretty hard to read when you’re older.