Getting started with accessibility – one step at a time

Would you like to make the world around you more accessible and build your accessibility skills at the same time? Would you like to start today?

Some easy projects appeared on Twitter recently that I wanted to share. They are all different, so there should be something for everyone.

Help Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons by transcribing small pieces of text

This is an idea from @pigsonthewing. Help transcribe and caption images, audio, and video files on Wikipedia. Oh, you'd be contributing to Wikipedia, too, which is rather cool. (P.S. There's even a Wikipedia accessibility project that we recently mentioned on Twitter. They aim "to make Wikipedia accessible for users with disabilities". Check it out!) You may also contribute through Meta=Wiki, which is the global community site for the Wikimedia Foundation and the WikiProject Directory categories and related projects, from coordination and documentation to planning and analysis.

Other meta-focused wikis such as Wikimedia Outreach and Wikimedia Strategy are specialized projects that have their roots in Meta-Wiki.

Help internationalize the (WordPress) web

Contribute to WordPress core, themes, and plugins by translating them into your language.  The tweet from @JoeDolson has a great project for many of you who dabble with WordPress and know a second language or two: help translate Joe's great WordPress plug-ins. If you are not familiar with Joe's plug-ins, check these out. Joe Dolson's WP Accessibility plug-in alone might be the one that really accelerates the accessibility improvements on your blog!

By the way, did you see the post about trying to contribute to WordPress core one hour per week? Why not contribute to improving the accessibility of WordPress at least one hour per week? (There's an app, uh, site for that. Go see Make WordPress Accessible now or when you get warmed up.)

Make eLearning more accessible

Are you really into eLearning? Have you considered how accessible (or inaccessible) it is? The W3C recently held an online symposium on that subject. Grab some coffee or tea and dig into these symposium proceedings from Australia, China, Portugal, Spain, and the UK. Consider how you can apply these ideas in your own work. Start the discussion in your workplace. Start making a difference in the lives of everyone you are teaching. (Thanks to @catroy and @webaxe for sharing this tip.)

Learn sign language

Personally, I think sign language is so cool and beautiful. There are apps for that, but it's a bit tricky – there is no universal sign language, so you will want to learn the right one for your country. @IBMAccess tweeted 10 reasons ASL lessons make a great gift. Most of the reasons apply to any sign language, not just ASL (American Sign Language). So, start investigating the Auslan (Australian Sign Language), (British) BSL resources, or… what about StreetSigners who teach Danish sign language, Deutsche Gebardensprache at the Institute of German Sign Language and Communication of the Deaf, and German National Association of the Deaf, or langue des signes française at Websourd, a site for French Sign Language (LSF)? [Websourd was a cooperative society of collective interest based in Toulouse which provides services to deaf. The company was born from the meeting of the network of associations of the deaf and the network of cooperative enterprises but disappeared 30Juky2015.] See also:

Postscript

Stay tuned to our Twitter account @accesstechcomm, or our Facebook account where you can find more obvious and not so obvious ideas for learning about accessibility one step at a time.

PS: Credit for the title goes to Derek Featherstone and his "one step at a time" article.

New Logical Captcha Plugins for WordPress

I recently discovered two new logical-based captchas plugins for WordPress.

1. Logical Captcha (Version 1.0.3, Updated 2009-8-24) takes advantage of the TextCaptcha.com service, which provides logic-based textual questions instead of distorted images or audio to validate that the entity registering is a real live human being, and not a spam bot. [Logical Captcha was last updated 11 years ago as of 2020. Tested up to WordPress 2.8.4]  Updated

Textual logic-based captchas mean that your registration process will be accessible to everyone, including visually/hearing impaired visitors who use access technology to surf the web. It requires a free API key from TextCaptcha.com

This plugin was developed by Josh de Lioncourt of the Mac-cessibility Network, a site dedicated to blind and visually impaired users of the Mac OS X operating system, the iPhone OS, and other Apple Inc. products and services. Josh de Lioncourt, the Mac-cessibility Network, and related sites are not in anyway affiliated with TextCaptcha.com

2. Accessible Captcha 0.1. The Accessible CAPTCHA asks users random questions from a database of very simple questions. The questions contain markup that allows the system to randomize how the questions are asked. It is easy to add new questions and, with a little PHP skill, add new types of questions. Try the demo at https://linkleaf.com/acaptcha/acaptcha.php is No longer available to download from WordPress. This plugin allowed you to customize the questions by editing the questions.txt file.

This plugin was created by Carl Zulauf, a 25 year old Computer Programmer residing in Omaha, NE. Carl created his blog because "Sometimes you just have to publish things yourself…"