On Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 6:49 PM I had received an email from one Deborah Perugi asking about JAWS and WordPress. Apparently she came across an older Post I had written about JAWS and WordPress; apparently not getting enough information out of it to do what she needed to do. Well… These things do happen. But hopefully now Deborah and everyone else concerned about JAWS For Windows Functionality will have something they can refer back to as needed, even today.
You see; Deborah had a client that wanted a website that blind JAWS users could read. But apparently Deborah’s client was concerned about her designing his site using WordPress.
Apparently based on Deborah’s own research; she wrote me that WordPress seemed to do a fine job for the visually impaired. Of course, she had a friend of hers check her site out and said it read very well. But, I guess she really wanted to make sure that she was in the ball park where screen reader accessibility was concerned so that she could do right by her client. Naturally; finding one of my sites on line at the time of her email, which had posts pertaining to the subject of JAWS and WordPress, she did the logical thing and asked me for some advice.
So I told this woman, who was claiming to specialize in WordPress Web Design, graphics and Marketing, the same thing I’m about to share with you. It certainly isn’t rocket science if you know what you are doing but, “Here it is.”
The best suggestion I can give anyone when it comes to site design using WordPress, taking into consideration matters of screen reader accessibility and beyond, is simply this. Keep the usage of plugins down to a dull roar and make sure that you are using industry standard code.
Many plugins that are offered with WordPress are not as cleanly coded as they could be. To be blunt; plugins, generally speaking, are merely substitutions for the ineptitudes of many so called Web Designers.
Themes should be kept clean on the coding side of the equation as well. Poor none-industry standard coding equals, “Poor screen reader performance,” when it involves plugins and themes for WordPress.
The default WordPress themes that are available do a good job with JAWS and other screen readers and are well coded. They offer a lot of built in options for customization, too, without the need for messing about with the coding of the theme itself.
Beyond that; remember to use clear labels for links, alt tags when posting graphics, and, “You’ll be good to go!”
As for Deborah Perugi; I don’t know how she ever did make out with her clients website. I never did receive a thank you email if she sent it. But I’m certainly hoping she made out ok with the project she was working on at that time. Sometimes in situations like this it would seem that God is the only one truly in the know.