Take your eyeglasses off (they’re assistive technology) and see how easy it is to use a website or interface. Try surfing the web with your eyes closed while a web page is read aloud to you. Or, enlarge your fonts to 3× their normal size, crank down the contrast and brightness on your monitor, and only use your thumb on your non-dominant hand. For many people, there is no other way to interact with the web.
Ohio State University and Deque University are supporting the development of an accessible UI for the MODX CMS. With this backing, the team behind the open source web content management system and framework has started a project to make the MODX Revolution back-end Manager fully accessible for people who use assisitive devices and technologies for accessing the web. While MODX can be used to build accessible websites, its back-end Manager UI was never designed to be accessible.
Work has started and progress can be seen at the project's github repository. MODX users are able to install the in-progress admin interface theme for testing and to provide feedback to the project developers. Personally, I've installed it and use it as it's developed at this point, and already find it much easier on my failing eyesight.
Key alterations being made include:
- Keyboard Navigation
- ARIA roles, states, and properties for all the major areas of the Manager UI
- Visual Contrast to meet WCAG guidelines
- Clean up text presentation for screen readers
- Focus indication