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Proposal:Accessibility initiative

From Strategic Planning
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Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

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  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation

Note that this is a draft. I know what I will write in there, I just lack time. Please wait.


There is a strong need for the Wikimedia Foundation to get involved with accessibility to the handicaped. According to accessibility experts and our experience from the french and english speaking accessibility projects, here is the current situation and what needs to be done in priority.

Need for an accessibility initiative

Local accessibility projects (mostly en:Wikipedia:WikiProject accessibility and fr:Wikipédia:Atelier accessibilité) provided enough examples of what volunteers can do about accessibility. The community plays a central role in accessibility as they are the one to produce most of the content. And the community proved to be able to make accessible contributions when given appropriate authoring tools and guidelines.

But it also pointed out the limits of a solely volunteer and community driven approach. The community lack expertise about accessibility, so project members are making a lot of mistakes and are not thorough enough. The English speaking WikiProject accessibility needs to be lead by an accessibility expert in order to do a good job.

MediaWiki's accessibility is not being improved. Developers cannot make accessible developments without the help from an accessibility expert, and are often making mistakes that worsen accessibility (for example, Vector was a huge regression in accessibility). And when they are given good advices, they often lack time to actually improve accessibility (even when the changes are easy to make). There is a need to employ an accessibility expert. The accessibility expert would provide advice to developers during the developments process, in order to conform to the most important accessibility requirements early in the developments process. The accessibility expert would also work on top priority accessibility improvements to MediaWiki and enable users to produce accessible content (through accessible authoring tools, see en:ATAG approach).

In conclusion: we already made enough progress within the community. Now we need involvement from the WikiMedia Foundation in order to do a good job.

Approach to make Wikipedia accessible


Key Questions

Potential Costs


Community Discussion

Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal talk:Accessibility initiative. Relevant comments may be added to this proposal after being reviewed.

Want to work on this proposal?

  1. Please do delete handicap, handicapped, handicaped, handicapable, as these terms are handicappist, handicappism. Thank You. hopiakuta DonFphrnqTaub Persina 16:20, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
  2. .. Sign your name here!

Do you support this proposal?

  1. Vibhijain 10:40, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
  2. hopiakuta DonFphrnqTaub Persina 16:20, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
  3. .. Sign your name here!