A Guide To WordPress With A Screen-Reader: An Interesting Idea

Here’s something neat that I can get behind.

Amanda Rush has started what could be a super useful project. It will be a behemoth, but what a useful behemoth! She is trying to build a comprehensive guide to WordPress with a screen-reader. What’s more, she is going to try to keep it current. You go, girl!

Man, wouldn’t it be nice, if you’re trying to solve a complicated problem, to not have to decode the instructions that are written up with visual descriptions and screenshots. Sometimes, you can get by because they have added enough description that you can find the links and buttons to which they refer, but there’s nothing more infuriating than getting super helpful instructions, only to bump into a sentence like “You will get to a screen that looks like this. {screenshot goes here}.” Or “Now, drag the icon to…” Baaaaa!

But because it’s a time-consuming, ever-evolving affair, she is trying to get enough money to keep it going. So go to the page linked above and have a look at what she has already done. If you think this could be helpful, send her some dough to help keep it going.

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  1. Carin,

    First, “Vomit comet” is the most awesome blog title ever, and it could just be that I haven’t consumed enough coffee yet, but I am highly amused. Second, thank you for linking to my project. I decided to start this because I get a fair amount of email, Twitter mentions, ETC. from people who use screen readers wanting to figure out how to do something with basic WordPress, not having anything to do with “How do I build this kind of site,) and while I could just tell everyone “Here’s my hourly rate, and if you have it I’ll help you,” I want this to be something different. I want people to have access to this kind of information without this information becoming another statistical blindness product: Priced out of reach for most blind people because survival of project, profitability concerns, tiny market, ETC. It’s not that I’m against charging for things like courses, ETC. But at least as far as WordPress is concerned, what I’ve seen in this space regarding courses for blind people comes down to: “I know how to use WordPress and you don’t, so pay me for knowledge.” Then, everybody races each other to the bottom because competition, and “I want you to pay for my course instead of other person’s/org’s course, so I’ll try to make it cheaper.” A race to the bottom is unsustainable, and nobody wins. Further, if an organization with lots of donors or a hefty bank account decides to step in, all they have to do is lower their price just a bit, and everybody else is done. That org could kill the market, and afford to take the loss, because WordPress training isn’t their only gig. Meanwhile, nobody else can really develop courses that demonstrate their true value and are differentiated from everyone else, because they have to start with the fundamentals. Most blind people cannot afford to pay would be normal market value for well-delivered material like this, and they definitely can’t afford to pay inflated prices based on the size of the blindness product market. I got very lucky when I started learning WordPress back in 2005. The software I used at my job at the time became completely inaccessible, and because my employer didn’t want to have to deal with a discrimination lawsuit, they weren’t willing to just terminate my employment. So I had almost three years of paid time on my hands, a supervisor who went to bat for me, and a network administrator who was willing to set aside the rule about employees not being allowed to access anything other than work-related sites on their computers, and so as a consequence, I had a lot of paid time on my hands which I could spend reading core code and hacking and breaking things and learning how to fix them. That’s a pretty rare set of circumstances, and I’m trying to send the elevator back down because I’m pretty sure that most are not going to get that opportunity. Neither the supervisor nor the sysadmin are still with us, BTW. Both passed away young, due to different types of cancer. To put this shortly, I want to see a thriving market of blindness-related WordPress courses and ebooks and consultants, and I want this market to have a fighting chance without having to look over its shoulder for the larger organizations who determine that it’s in their advantage to step in given WordPress’s continually rising market share, and in the process, wipe out all the smaller players.

    1. Glad you like the name, hahaha.  I wish either one of us could take credit for it, but it was actually a friend who came up with it when he roped me into starting a dumb little time-wasting blog with him back in 2003.  I’m not sure where all that time has gone exactly, but the dumb little time-wasting blog is still here, name and all.  We just never bothered changing it because why would we?  People know it now, plus it would make all the archived references to it seem weird and out of place.

      As for the friend who came up with it, he doesn’t write here anymore.  He’s moved on to a dumb little time-wasting podcast and is doing pretty well with it.

      I really appreciate what you’re trying to do here.  The philosophy behind it makes absolute sense and is exactly the sort of thinking it would be nice to see more folks adopt.  And the result of it all is something that would have been wonderful to have when we switched from Blogger to WordPress years ago.  We don’t mind messing around with things and we were in the fortunate position to have smart friends who could help us if we got stuck, but a resource like yours would have been exactly the sort of thing I’d have surely poured over for answers an I’m happy that it will be there for others.  And like Carin, I will at some point in the near future kick in a few bucks to help out.

    2. I really hope this gets the support it needs. We need more people with that philosophy. Thanks again. And, hopefully it takes some of the load off of you, since you’re creating an FM newbs can go R. Hahah.

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