Submissions/Making wiki accessible for visually impaired editors

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2013.

Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission
Making wiki accessible for visually impaired editors
Type of submission


Author of the submission

Ahmed Mansour

Country of origin


One Laptop Per Child
E-mail address

Personal homepage or blog


Why is accessibility of major importance to Wikimedia? According to the WHO report there are 161 million visually impaired world-wide including 37 million blind. navigating wikipedia website, reading as well as editing articles.

In this presentation, I am going to present currents challenges faced by visually impaired wikipedians as well as present my solutions and recomendations to loer barrier to entry to attract new editors from disabled community.

Detailed proposal

Table of content:

  • What is accessibility, and why should we care?
  • The approach to improve accessibility
  • larger part of the world’s population and to make the Wikimedia projects accessible for more and more people globally.
  • how visually impaired readers "see" your article, and how to make it easier for them to read?
  • how a more accessible wikipedia, will also benefit non-disabled users?

About 15% of the world's population has a disability. In the United States alone, 49.6 million people have a disability and 45 million in Europe. When it comes to interacting with a wiki, these disabilities affect individuals in a number of ways:

Visual impairments include color vision deficiency, low-vision and blindness - all of which may impact the individual’s ability to see content displayed on the screen. Ensure people with low vision or those who are fully blind can use a screen reader to fully participate in editing and reading wikipedia content. Make keyboard shortcuts. Ensure people with mobility impairments or users of screen readers that prefer keyboard navigation can use a keyboard to interact with the app and its UI elements. This includes navigating with the Tab and arrow keys; activations with Spacebar and Enter keys; and the use of shortcuts (access keys and accelerators).

Support high contrast and “make it bigger.” Ensure people with moderate visual impairments can distinguish the UI and text with sufficient text contrast ratios, and a good high contrast mode; and respect layout settings when the “Make everything on your screen bigger” mode is active.

In order for access technology to work, the other software in use must interoperate with it. The current mediawiki software still do not comply with accessibility standards and guidelines, so they do not work with access technology. and lack usability in this regards, and can bar disabled users from editing and contributing to free knowledge. in this presentation we will propose solution to overcome this situation.

  • Technology and Infrastructure
Length of presentation/talk
20 Minutes
Language of presentation/talk
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?

Yes, as I am interested to meet developers, members of the Board to discuss my project, but I am fully depending on a scholarship to attend.

Slides or further information (optional)

will be uploaded soon.

Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. Danny B.
  2. Greenlibya
  3. Brixton Brixton (talk) 13:52, 21 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  4. In India, en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Club Pune's "Spoken Wikipedia" project is addressing this issue from a low-literacy perspective rather than a visual impairment perspective. I would be interested to know what overlap there exists in serving these populations. See also Submissions/Increasing Wiki Accessibility: Role of Speech Technologies. Blue Rasberry (talk) 08:36, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
    This project goes beyond just reading and focus more on writing, on what changes are to be made to make visually impaired wikipedian able to contribute to wiki projects, and to reach the ideal that anyone can write on Wikipedia.Verdalibro (talk) 22:11, 20 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  5. BasilGeorge22 (talk) 10:28, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  6. អមីរ ឯ. អហរោណិ 06:52, 12 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  7. CT Cooper · talk 23:50, 28 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  8. SarahStierch (talk) 04:09, 2 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  9. As a blind Wikipedia editor. Graham87 (talk) 12:50, 5 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]