WordPress for the blind

It seems I am up and running now.

I am registered blind, but should say that I can still use a computer with the help of magnifiers and text readers. I am not yet totally reliant on audio feedback to contril my computer, however long sessions tend to tireand degrade vision. I think it is important to say all this as thre are so many different levelsand types of sight loss and I find myself constantly needing to explain what my limits are.

I am involved in projects aiming to improve the quality of access to information for the blind. For my own sake  I have recently signed up at Hull College to learn how to use JAWS – more on that in a different article – and have been asked to learn how to use a blog to record my progress. Learning how to blog with visual impairment has also become part of the exercise.

so, here goes on my initial thoughts on WordPress –

I was advised that WordPress was one of the more accessible blogging tools. As I am now here, that proves it can be done without sighted assistance, which is great.

I was initially confused by WordPress the programme that IT people use and the blogging site that can be used by us regular folk. I am lucky that I was already reasonably literate on a computer before losing my sight 9 years ago, but blogs weren’t around then. If you don’t know how to use a computer blogging is a non starter. I know that is obvious, but this is one example of how blind people are denied something the sighted can have if they want it.

I will be writing other articles on training the blind to use computers to enable them to communicate their own views if they wish to.

The layout of WordPress when you sign up for a blog is really straightforward and uncluttered. Big tick there.

There is a huge helpguide, which probably contains everything I need to know. However, I think a quickstart guide just for bloggers would be good as the main guide is full of computer jargon that is not essential for beginners. Fighting through some of the jargon and techical specs nearly put me off completely. this would be the same for sighted or unsighted bloggers.

when you get into the posting page there are problemswhen you try to magnify certaina areas. Blocks or areas start to overlaap at certain levels of magnification. Most areas worked well with my text/screenreader – anonother big tick.

Overall, I am pleased that it has only taken me a few hours to get to this stage. it would be quicker for the sighted, but I think there could be some benefit to both sections receiving or having access to tutorials. I guess it is not an essential tool, but I hope to make my blog a signpost for all things useful for the visually impaired. It is helping me feel useful and reduces bordom levels.

I now need to learn how to ensure other people with similar interests or needs can easily find my blog.




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One Response to “WordPress for the blind”

  1. sue watling Says:

    Hi Ian

    When you create a post it’s good practice to assign it to a category that reflects the topic area and also to give it tags which relate to its content for example tags for this one could include Hull College, Jaws and WordPress. There are places for entering Categories and Tags in your Dashboard usually to the right of the screen when you are writing your blog post. Search engines pick up on this sort of information and it may help other bloggers find you. There’s information about categories and tags from WordPress here http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/categories-vs-tags/

    Also the WordPress forum at http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/no-visitors-on-my-blog?replies=25 is useful for tips on getting visitors to your blog.


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