I’ve been getting ready for the launch of A Broom and A Spoon, a podcast for and by Pagans with chronic illnesses made by ED and I. Since we also plan to discuss issues relevant to Pagans with mental illnesses, disabilities, and sensory processing differences, it is important to us to make everything connected with the project as accessible as possible. It has been quite the project, and I wanted to share some resources and tips I’ve discovered so far so other Pagan resources can also be made more accessible.
Website testing: It turns out there’s a lot more to an accessible website than alt text for images, though that is really important. This website was very enlightening to me about both of my websites: WAVE: web accessibility evaluation tool. Many of the defaults for both Squarespace and WordPress websites are not very accessible. For example, Squarespace’s way of dealing with alt text means that when I use a screen reader app, all of the alt text is read twice. My WordPress pages are full of errors like “Missing form label”, “Redundant title text”, and “Redundant link”, all of which are done by WordPress or the theme I chose and will have to be manually overridden (if they even can be at my skill level).
Keyboard accessibility: It is driving me nuts that I can’t get focus indicators to work on either website when they should be on by default. WebAIM is full of tips and cautions for making websites more accessible.
Designing for everyone: I love these posters of how to design better for a variety of needs: “Dos and don’ts on designing for accessibility“.
Closed captioning: YouTube auto-generated captions are on a scale from bad to terrible. Really, I tried to watch some of them on mute and I have no idea what the person is actually saying. Please, please, edit the captions.
Videos for the blind: On the subject of YouTube, if you are posting one, consider making a described video version for people with vision problems. There’s an easy free tool at YouDescribe.org, though you have to send people to their website to see it. If you don’t want to record your own, let me know – I love doing described videos.
Edited to add: Social media accessibility: I stumbled across this great tutorial on accessibility on the major social media platforms: Accessible Social Media.
I have a lot of work to do on my websites to get them to where I would like, accessibility-wise. I hope other Pagans will be inspired to check their own websites and online resources too, and pass on tips to each other. Let’s make accessibility a core Pagan value!