How to Add Accessibility to Your Blogging Workflow?

During a call for Third Tribe Marketing earlier this week, Chris Brogan mentioned that he would like to add captions to his videos, but he isn’t sure how to add that task into his workflow.

Workflow?

It struck me in that moment that workflow is another way blog accessibility differs from web accessibility. Any worthy web developer or designer implements accessibility from the beginning of the project and it is part of the job; accessibility flows naturally and seamlessly through the project.

But, for bloggers who do want to attract a larger, more inclusive readership, implementing accessibility guidelines in each blog post requires a conscious effort – at least, initially while learning what is required. Some extra time may also be required, particularly when it comes to captioning videos, which is a time-consuming and tedious, albeit necessary, task.

I can imagine these questions churning through bloggers’ minds:

  • How much time does implementing the accessibility guidelines require?
  • Is there a best order to implement them?
  • When do I fit these extra tasks into my limited blogging time?

What other questions am I missing? What other burning questions about fitting in “accessibility” do you have?

When I explain a particular accessibility tip – such as adding alt text to images – I offer why it is important and how to do it. Shall I also offer how long it might take and when it might be done? Would that kind of information be beneficial to you as bloggers?

To address Chris’ dilemma, there are a number of ways videos can be captioned:

  1. Some software, like Camtasia, offer a way to add captions during the editing process;
  2. With tools like Overstream.net,  captions can be added to videos already online;
  3. Pay a transcription service;
  4. Use Dragon Naturally Speaking to create the transcript;
  5. And the list goes on.

However Chris’ question was “how”  as much as it was “when”. Many of his videos are created on the fly – at the kitchen, waiting for his next flight, in his hotel room – in between his other countless commitments. Needing to stop to take time to add captions would likely mean many of his videos would not be shared online.

Realistically, what’s the solution? For Chris, perhaps it’s adopting a policy whereby someone within the Brogan Empire is tasked with ensuring the video is captioned within a specified time (i.e. 72 hours) of it going live. That kind of policy might fit into his workflow best. For another blogger, another policy might work better.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you fit accessibility into your workflow? Or, what information do you need to begin adding accessibility into your blogging routine?

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7 Responses to How to Add Accessibility to Your Blogging Workflow?
  1. Barbara
    December 16, 2010 | 4:59 pm

    I just read this:
    http://www.businessesgrow.com/2010/12/16/seo-success-for-your-blog-in-10-easy-steps/

    Notice no. 6.

    I’m going to answer your question in a tweet. ;)

    • Glenda
      Twitter:
      December 20, 2010 | 5:30 pm

      Barbara, good eye! Yes, alternate text – and other accessibility tips – assist with search engine optimization. Hmm, is that a topic people would like covered in a post?

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris Brogan, Lorelle on WordPress, Glenda Watson Hyatt , Jon Swanson, travisthetrout and others. travisthetrout said: RT @GlendaWH: First attempt at answering @chrisbrogan's question: How to Add Accessibility to Your Blogging Workflow? http://bit.ly/fPb1UF [...]

  3. oihana
    December 17, 2010 | 12:36 am

    Just another useful tool to add subtitles:

    http://universalsubtitles.org/

    By the way, congratulations for your blog and work; since I got into the “accessibility world” I’ve been reading it and it’s really interesting. Greetings from the Basque Country!

    • Glenda
      Twitter:
      December 20, 2010 | 5:42 pm

      Oihana, thanks for that tip for the free captioning tool. People now have one less excuse for not captioning their videos.

      And thank you for your kind words about my blog. Welcome to the “accessibility world”. Please let me know if you have any questions.

  4. Isha
    December 17, 2010 | 7:20 pm

    It seems to me that there’s a great case for seeking good transcribers from Fiverr (the site where you can try out anyone for $5).

    When we learn to create and maintain a blog, and when we carry out SEO on our blogs, we get into a habit of doing certain activities, often in the same order, eg putting our favorite plugins onto our new sites. So adding any new actions around making our sites more accessible is just a question of slotting those actions into our work-flow and making them a habit.

    We also need to remove things that actively send people straight off our sites. For me that would include anything distracting like winking lights, ads that cover something that I’m trying to read, auto-running commercials, videos and audios to give a few.

    It seems to me pretty straight forward really, when you learn how many more people will find it easy to use your site. I’m sure that if you had some ballpark numbers Glenda then people would find that in itself motivating.

    When we think of the “accessibility” of our sites, we should be thinking of it in the widest possible sense. I believe it’s analogous to creating physically accessible transport, which assists not only in obtaining more mobility-impaired people as visitors, but also people with baby buggies and heavy luggage.

  5. Glenda
    Twitter:
    December 20, 2010 | 5:58 pm

    Isha, thank you for contributing to the discussion. Yes, accessible definitely benefits more than people with disabilities. A good topic for another post!

    As for stats, consider that according to the U.S. Department of Labour:

    • There are more than 50 million Americans with disabilities;
    • This equates to 18% of the population;
    • This under tapped market has $175 billion in discretionary spending power.
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