WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Mailman accessibility


From: Laura Carlson
Date: Aug 9, 2005 1:54PM

--On Tuesday, August 9, 2005 Patrick H. Lauke wrote:

> It sounds rather strange to me that such a clause exists.
> Shouldn't there be some sort of procurement policy clearly stating
> that only accessible systems should be put in place?

You are right Patrick. I did some checking around and found:

It states:
"Software to be developed, purchased or acquired by the University of
Minnesota shall be accessible for use by persons with disabilities.
'Software' is not limited to assistive applications used by people with
disabilities, but rather it applies to the development, procurement,
maintenance, or use of all commercially available and newly developed
software applications."

--On Tuesday, August 9, 2005 Jared Smith wrote:

Thank you for the insight and tips Jared.

> With that said, getting the Mailman developers to implement
> accessibility will surely be the best remedy. I've posted several
> recommendations to their developers list. If enough people ask for
> it, I believe they will make the relatively minor changes needed to
> improve accessibility.

I agree Jared, if a number of people ask for it, accessibility in
Mailman might get some attention. If anyone else wants post
recommendations, the mailman-developers mailing list is at:

The "Wish List Request for Mailman Web Accessibility" thread is at:

>From what I have experienced, accessibility is often the last thing on
some web developers's minds. most people want to do the right thing
once they know how. Designing for accessibility presents a challenge
even for experienced developers. Many people who have been doing this
for years have no clue how to make their pages accessible. One of the
primary reasons for this is lack of knowledge.

By lack of knowledge, I mean several things. The first of these is that
most developers aren't even aware there is a problem. For instance they
don't know what their pages are like if you can't see the graphics or
access forms. Without realizing there is any sort of a problem, they
may be unaware that their sites are not accessible to a relatively
large number of people.

Of course, once they become aware that a problem exists, they may be
ignorant in a second way -- how to fix the problem. This is why support
from the accessible community is so important. In order to produce
sites with good accessibility considerations, developers need to know
what those considerations are.

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