[Mailman-Developers] Wishlist Request for Mailman Web Acessibility

Laura Carlson lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Sat Aug 6 00:23:46 CEST 2005

We would like to request that Web Accessibility be added to the Mailman 

The Mailman user community includes an increasing number of 
individuals. Some have disabilities and rely on adaptive technologies. 
Incorporating accessibility would help increase the availability and 
accessibility of your software to people of all needs.

It would be great to have Mailman at a minimum meet World Wide Web 
Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Single A Guidelines[1] and 
adhere to Section 508[2] of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

There are some simple things that can help. For instance when the end 
user views templates like the information page and the user specific 
options page they get form fields that are not accessible. Forms are a 
problem because the extra accessibility tags are simply not known to 
many developers. Forms aren't the easiest of things to use for people 
with disabilities. Navigating around a page with written content is one 
thing, hopping between form fields and inputting information is 
another. Because of this, it is a good idea to add a number of elements 
to the form. Most of culprit HTML in question is in the python code. 
One of the main things that needs to be done is to associate form 
labels explicitly with their controls. Markup for labels needs to have 
the <label> tag and for attribute and the corresponding input needs an 
id attribute.

Also adding alt attributes to images, using good html heading 
structure, and validating [3] to W3C standards would aid accessibility.

If we can be of help in this effort please let us know.

Thank you for your consideration.


Laura Carlson and the ITSS University of Minnesota Duluth Web Team

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/
[2] http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/1194.22.htm
[3] http://validator.w3.org/

Laura L. Carlson
Information Technology Systems and Services
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, MN  55812-3009

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