Just a few months ago, I wrote a post introducing a plugin I developed that allows anyone to make their WordPress site more accessible and easier to navigate. [Note: like almost all WordPress plugins, this one works if you're hosting your own site but not if your site is hosted by WordPress.com.] This plugin–which is listed in the WordPress.org plugin directory–makes it easy to specify keyboard shortcuts for built-in WordPress functions and for access to other internal or external pages.
Access keys, as you may already know, are an example of universal design: they make a site easier to navigate not only for people who are blind or have low vision but for all people (provided they can use a keyboard).
But I couldn’t just stop with WordPress. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working to create a plugin with the same functions for Omeka, a content management system for scholarly collections (and a ProfHacker favorite). Just yesterday, I released the Access Keys plugin for Omeka to the public, allowing any Omeka administrator the ability to make their site a little more accessible with just a few clicks.
The Omeka Access Keys plugin allows an admin to give keyboard shortcuts to the following built-in action:
- Skip to Content
- Go to Home Page
- Browse by Items
- Browse by Collections
- Go to Previous Item
- Go to Next Item
- Advanced Search
In addition, the Omeka plugin will read aloud the available access keys to users navigating through the site using a screen reader. For the visual users, the site administrator can place a small link to a listing of the access keys anywhere in the theme.
If you are interested in using this plugin for your own Omeka archive, or would like to see more information or documentation, check out the plugins section at AccessibleFutures.org.