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Mailman accessibility


From: Laura Carlson
Date: Aug 9, 2005 11:09AM

Our campus recently converted our mailing lists from the ListProc
server to a new Mailman server. There are some advantages, including
automatic archiving of posts.

One thing that does concern me however, is that the Mailman general
list information page [1] and the user specific options page do not
validate and are not accessible. For instance when the end user views
the pages they get form labels that are not explicitly associated with
their controls. Most of culprit HTML in question is actually pulled
from the python code which I do not have access to as a list

Our web master/systems administrator says that "It would be best if the
Mailman developers edit the code, otherwise we will be in a state of
code drift, making it difficult or impossible to upgrade later." He
also says that "We didn't create the pages, we only provide them via a
product, hence we are not in violation of any [accessibility] policies."

That was an eye opener. The fact that we didn't create the mailman
software but just host the resulting inaccessible pages get us "off the
hook". I really hate to link the inaccessible pages with the theme of
the list that I run advocating accessibility, usability, and web

Anyway I have tried to clean up some of the markup (i.e. the markup not
in python) that I have access to as a list administrator. But I don't
have access to a lot of the markup like form inputs to add id
attributes. I have also incorporated directions into the general
information page for subscribing/unsubscribing by email. And I have
contacted the Mailman developers list and asked that Web Accessibility
be added to the Mailman wish list. [3]

I have noticed that WebAim uses Mailman for this list. Any words of
wisdom or advice from the WebAim list administrators or anyone else
regarding Mailman accessibility?

Thank you very much,


[1] http://lists.d.umn.edu/mailman/listinfo/webdev
[2] http://lists.d.umn.edu/mailman/options/webdev

Laura L. Carlson
Information Technology Systems and Services
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, MN, U.S.A. 55812-3009