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ADA compliant theme - working on a museum site with special needs (3 posts)

  1. clarklab
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    In the planning stages of a huge project for a museum here in Austin, TX. One of the main requirements is that the entire site be accessible to special needs viewers. The museum does a lot of work with the blind and with children and I've gotta make sure the site can be used by everyone.

    The quickest and easiest option (and one I see a lot of other museums opting for) is a separate, text-only layout that mirrors the main site exactly. I figure this would be best because I won't have to compromise my layout for the general viewers and I can make the accessible layout as strict as possible.

    My question: is there an existing ADA compliant theme I can use? I'll likely end up just rolling my own strict text theme, but I figured if one already existed I could save some time. I did some googling and couldn't turn much up. I know there are a number of 'blank' themes but I was curious if there was specifically something disability compliant.

  2. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 4 years ago #

    The quickest and easiest option (and one I see a lot of other museums opting for) is a separate, text-only layout that mirrors the main site exactly.

    That's an approach that's about 10 years out of date. It also does your disabled users a great dis-service. Most of them will not be completely blind (only about 5-7% of registered blind people have no functional site) and many enjoy graphically rich sites in a similar manner to non-impaired users. Dyslexics, children and those who do not use English as their native language (which includes the deaf) rely heavily on images to support textual content.

    It's entirely possible to create an accessible site that is graphically rich and aesthetically pleasing to everyone. For some examples, see http://accessites.org/

  3. clarklab
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I think making compromises on the main site to accommodate the accessibility guidelines does the general viewer a dis-service. Of the few things that caught my eye, the main was a rule that your site MUST fit an 800x600 screen. My site most certainly will not, so where does that leave me?

    I think it'd be possible to build a dual theme right alongside the main site that included all the same content and images but cut out or reformatted a ton of 'fluff' and was much higher contrast for an overall cleaner layout with the same feel as the main site.

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