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Re: controlling a CMS for access

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From: John E Brandt
Date: Aug 29, 2013 11:33AM


Several folks have already hit on this...but just a few points for
clarification.

In all Content Management Systems (CMSs), Headings (H1, h2, etc.) in the
markup code are "controlled" in two ways. First, some of the Heading coding
is controlled by the template/theme you are using. Second, some of the
heading coding is controlled by content providers. To meet standards and
have a well-heeled site that has good usability too, you have two issues to
deal with.

Template/Theme issues: In nearly all CMSs, the Title of the site (often
coded as an H1 if text is used) and the specific content/page heading are
controlled by the theme/template. Some themes make the specific content/page
heading an H1, some an H2, I've even seen some use H3. But it depends on the
theme and the CMS. CMS templates and themes come in all kinds of shapes and
sizes, free and open source, free and proprietary, and some purchased from
developers. Some are good, some are bad. Some you can easily modify
yourself; some with effort. Sometimes the only way to know what layout the
theme uses, and the order it uses, is to take it for a test run (most theme
developers have a demo somewhere so you can see it in action). If I purchase
a theme, I always look for one who advertises that it meets W3 standards,
but then check the demo to make sure.

Content providers issues: This is a training and review issue. My experience
is that you can teach content providers over and over again about the
importance good semantic structure in the choice of headings, but you need
to have a review process after they create the content to make sure they
comply. My experience is that often content providers don't use any heading
markup when they should and instead use bolds and italics. If you have a big
organization with lots of content providers, this can be a full time job.

~j

John E. Brandt
jebswebs: accessible and universal web design,
development and consultation
<EMAIL REMOVED>
207-622-7937
Augusta, Maine, USA

@jebswebs

-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED>
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Lucy Greco
Sent: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 3:00 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] controlling a CMS for access

Hello:
We are trying to launch a large scale adoption of a cms. And are finding
most of it to be very accessible. however the semantic structure it creates
is not really that grate and inconsistent So I can go to a page and the page
starts with h3 and then the main content is h1 and then sub headers are h4.
Then on subpages the h3 becomes an h2. We are basing our templates on Drupal
7 using the Panopoly distribution and the panels module. Does anyone have
any ideas how we can help our users create more consistent structure and how
we deal with the skipped levels in the headings. I would like to play hard
ball on this and say that we should not allow out of order headers but the
rest of what I have seen works to well to not give in a little smile Lucy

Lucia Greco
Web Access Analyst
IST-Campus Technology Services
University of California, Berkeley
(510) 289-6008 skype: lucia1-greco
http://webaccess.berkeley.edu
Follow me on twitter @accessaces
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