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Thread: Accessible Drupal themes

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From: Jan Heck
Date: Fri, May 24 2013 6:35PM
Subject: Accessible Drupal themes
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I'm trying to help somebody put up an accessible site, and it appears
she's been convinced she needs to use Drupal. That may be overkill for the
site's needs, but that's a separate issue.

Every Drupal site I can find makes me nervous. What I've noted in a really
quick survey:
- They all seem to load a ton of JavaScript and CSS files.
- Everything is a div wrapped in a div wrapped in a div--very verbose and
weighty pages. Can someone tell me if this creates any accessibility
problems?
- They don't use any semantic coding that I've been able to find--it's
generally <div id="header"> instead of <header>, and no role attributes
either.
- Various keyboard navigation issues, e.g., no visual cues where you are
as you tab

I realize at least some of this is theme-dependent, but I have no idea how
much?

Can anyone tell me this: If somebody has created a really clean and
accessible template (not a Drupal theme, but just a page template or two),
is it possible to drop this into Drupal and just use Drupal as a CMS,
without all its fancy "stuff"?

I'd be appreciative if anyone can enlighten me about Drupal and
accessibility, at least some main points.

Thanks very much!
Jan

From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Sat, May 25 2013 8:19AM
Subject: Re: Accessible Drupal themes
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Jan, I'm glad you asked.

Drupal was the first CMS project—and it has developed well beyond being a CMS since then—to seriously take on the issue of accessibility. Starting with Drupal 7, people with disabilities could not only use sites created in Drupal but also use Drupal to create sites without encountering barriers.

As we know, nothing is 100 percent accessible to everyone, but a blind friend of mine noted one day that he had suddenly realized that he had been working on his website in Drupal 6 for hours and had not yet encountered anything that he couldn't easily do. (Many patches created for Drupal 7 were backported to Drupal 6 as soon as possible.)

A goodly number of sites in the accessibility sectorhave been created in Drupal, too.

Here are a few of the themes that can be used to produce more accessible Drupal sites:
* Genesis
* AdaptiveTheme
* Newswire
* Zen
* Omega
* DarkBlue
* Tarski
* Typebased

To learn more about Drupal and accessibility, read Drupal's accessibility statement or peruse the pages of the Drupal Accessibility Group. In fact, I welcome you to join our group (full disclosure: I am one of its organizers) and continue the discussion with us there.

Finally, I do have to acknowledge the work Joe Dolson and Joseph Karr O'Connor (I hope I'm not forgetting others) are inspiring to improve the accessibility of WordPress sites. I'll leave it to Jennifer Sutton and others who have WordPress blogs to comment on how accessible WordPress is as a development tool, but los dos Joes ;-) are doing great work to ensure that the websites produced in WordPress are accessible.

By the way, thanks for asking. I am proud of the progress made in making Drupal and Drupal sites accessible, and don't often get the opportunity to toot this horn.

Cliff Tyllick
Austin, Texas

From: Jennifer Sutton
Date: Sat, May 25 2013 11:19AM
Subject: Re: Accessible Drupal themes
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Cliff et al:

While I appreciate your thinking of me, I'm not actively working on WordPress.

To make my response relevant to the issue of Drupal, I'd point you,
Jan, to a nice collection of resources that Laura Carlson has, with
the help of Mike Gifford, I believe, put together. This is part of
Laura's Web Design References site.

See:
http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/training/online/webdesign/drupal.html

Jennifer

From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Sat, May 25 2013 12:43PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Drupal themes
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Jennifer, don't you have a WordPress blog? Sorry, I should have checked with you first.

Thanks for pointing out Laura Carlson's collection of information on Drupal. Of the many links she has, one would be of great interest to anyone developing a site with an eye toward accessibility: The Drupal distribution of the Web Experience Toolkit.

WET was developed by the Treasury Board of Canada to help governmental agencies develop accessible sites. It's fairly easy to use, too.

Cheers!

CST



From: Jennifer Sutton < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Sent: Saturday, May 25, 2013 12:19 PM
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessible Drupal themes


Cliff et al:

While I appreciate your thinking of me, I'm not actively working on WordPress.

To make my response relevant to the issue of Drupal, I'd point you,
Jan, to a nice collection of resources that Laura Carlson has, with
the help of Mike Gifford, I believe, put together. This is part of
Laura's Web Design References site.

See:
http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/training/online/webdesign/drupal.html

Jennifer

From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Sat, May 25 2013 2:51PM
Subject: Re: Accessible Drupal themes
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Mike Burks has kindly pointed out that links built into the wording of a message get stripped out before posting on this forum. Here's a list of all the links I meant to come through in my earlier messages:

First, the Drupal distribution of the Treasury Board of Canada's Web Experience Toolkit: https://github.com/wet-boew/wet-boew-drupal#readme

By name, accessible Drupal themes:
- Genesis: http://drupal.org/project/genesis/
- Vertigo: http://drupal.org/project/vertigo/
- Zen: http://drupal.org/project/zen/
- Tarski: http://drupal.org/project/tarski/
- Dark Blue: http://drupal.org/project/darkblue/
- Typebased: http://drupal.org/project/typebased/
- Newswire: http://drupal.org/project/newswire/
- Omega: http://drupal.org/project/omega/
- AdaptiveTheme: http://drupal.org/project/adaptivetheme/

If you'd like to participate in making Drupal accessible or just learn more about Drupal's accessibility:
- The Drupal Accessibility Group: http://groups.drupal.org/accessibility
- Drupal's Accessibility Wiki: http://groups.drupal.org/node/318/og-panel/1
- Modules and themes whose developers have taken up Drupal's Accessibility Pledge: http://groups.drupal.org/node/66383
- A summary of plans and a progress update from last week's DrupalCon, a twice-a-year conference (held this time in Portland, Oregon): http://groups.drupal.org/node/300238

- Drupal's Accessibility Statement: http://drupal.org/about/accessibility

And Jennifer Sutton was nice enough to point us to Laura Carlson's compilation of links about Drupal and its accessibility:
http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/training/online/webdesign/drupal.html

I imagine these links hold the answers to all the questions you might have about accessibility and Drupal. If you have more, please join the Drupal Accessibility Group and ask there. One of our many knowledgeable members will be able to give you an answer.

Best,

Cliff Tyllick

From: Jan Heck
Date: Mon, May 27 2013 11:51AM
Subject: Re: Accessible Drupal themes
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Many thanks to Cliff and Jennifer for their help re: my question about
Drupal.

Cliff, I've been looking at Responsive Bartik D7
(http://drupal.org/project/responsive_bartik). It uses HTML5 with landmark
roles and has other encouraging accessibility "ingredients." If you have
any familiarity with it, I'd sure love to hear your assessment of its
accessibility.

Thanks again to you both!
Jan


On 5/25/13 1:51 PM, "Cliff Tyllick" < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

>Mike Burks has kindly pointed out that links built into the wording of a
>message get stripped out before posting on this forum. Here's a list of
>all the links I meant to come through in my earlier messages:
>
>First, the Drupal distribution of the Treasury Board of Canada's Web
>Experience Toolkit: https://github.com/wet-boew/wet-boew-drupal#readme
>
>By name, accessible Drupal themes:
>- Genesis: http://drupal.org/project/genesis/
>- Vertigo: http://drupal.org/project/vertigo/
>- Zen: http://drupal.org/project/zen/
>- Tarski: http://drupal.org/project/tarski/
>- Dark Blue: http://drupal.org/project/darkblue/
>- Typebased: http://drupal.org/project/typebased/
>- Newswire: http://drupal.org/project/newswire/
>- Omega: http://drupal.org/project/omega/
>- AdaptiveTheme: http://drupal.org/project/adaptivetheme/
>
>If you'd like to participate in making Drupal accessible or just learn
>more about Drupal's accessibility:
>- The Drupal Accessibility Group: http://groups.drupal.org/accessibility
>- Drupal's Accessibility Wiki:
>http://groups.drupal.org/node/318/og-panel/1
>- Modules and themes whose developers have taken up Drupal's
>Accessibility Pledge: http://groups.drupal.org/node/66383
>- A summary of plans and a progress update from last week's DrupalCon, a
>twice-a-year conference (held this time in Portland, Oregon):
>http://groups.drupal.org/node/300238
>
>- Drupal's Accessibility Statement: http://drupal.org/about/accessibility
>
>And Jennifer Sutton was nice enough to point us to Laura Carlson's
>compilation of links about Drupal and its accessibility:
>http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/training/online/webdesign/drupal.html
>
>I imagine these links hold the answers to all the questions you might
>have about accessibility and Drupal. If you have more, please join the
>Drupal Accessibility Group and ask there. One of our many knowledgeable
>members will be able to give you an answer.
>
>Best,
>
>Cliff Tyllick
>>>