New Accessible Content Plugin in Edublogs

Accessibility is the new watchword for web content. You may or may not have heard about WCAG 2.1, but you’ve probably heard someone say, “But does it meet Wha-CAAAG?” and wondered what they were talking about. WCAG stands for: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Here’s a link to the UK Government guidance on WCAG.

Many of our web tools have been developing new ways of helping users to make their web-content more accessible. And Edublogs/Wordpress have been working hard on a tool specific to our blog areas.

CampusPress (The owners of Edublogs) have released a new plugin called “Accessible Content” which works by highlighting in-accessible practice in blogs and pages in Edublogs.

To activate the plugin for your own site, you need to go into your ‘plugins’ area:

Red-box highlighting the plugin menu item in the leftside menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And find the ‘Accessible Content’ plugin and click on ‘Activate’.Screenshot showing the Accessible Content plugin, and an arrow pointing at the activate buttonIn order to use the plugin, one needs to ‘preview’ the post/page and the tool will automatically check your post/page for accessibility. When the plugin in enabled for your blog/site, one isn’t able to publish or update a blog/page entry, until one has ‘previewed’ the blog/page and utilised the plug-in tool.

Note the ‘publish’ button is greyed out (1), and will remain so, until I ‘preview’ the entry (2) and run the accessibility checker.

Greyed out publish button, and highlighted 'preview' button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are writing a new page/post then click on the ‘Preview’ button in the top right-hand menu area

Arrow pointing at the Preview Button in the Publish-widget area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re checking on past-published blogs/sites… You can go to the Preview Changes button in the Publish-area.

Arrow pointing at teh "Preview Changes" button in the Publish-widget area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you’ve clicked there… The plugin will ‘activate’ and look at the page for you. It tells you one ‘problem’ at a time, so that one doesn’t get over-whelmed. The plugin will show you ‘where’ the issue is, and at the bottom, it will tell you what you should do to remedy the problem, in some cases, like with Alt Text for images, the bottom area will give you a button to fix the issue immediately. The plugin also gives you a button to move on to the next accessibility issue. If you don’t see anything, it just means that your page is fully accessible! Congratulations!

preview of a post, with the accessible content plugin working, highlighting particular issues

Here are a few things that the plug-in checks for:

  • improper use of headings
  • link text that is too short or not descriptive
  • missing or poor alt text
  • videos without captions
  • low colour contrast
  • a reminder to check PDFs for compliance
  • missing table headings and labels

We hope that this new plugin will help all of us create rich and accessible content for our audience.

— eLearning Team.

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I am an artist, educator, and media-person specialising in helping to integrate technology into the pedagogy. I have been a professional maker and teacher since 1995. For many years I had administered college/university media labs; Now I work with teachers and students using digital technologies to advance both educational and institutional goals as a Learning Technologies Adviser.

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