Question regarding accessibility

NodeBB Development
  • #1

    I'm considering migrating a large forum of around 2000 people from Facebook to nodeBB.

    Some of my users are visually impaired, and use a variety of different programs to browse the internet. One person uses Lynx, which is a text-only browser that's easier for her to read. Another uses JAWS, which is a popular screen reader for the visually impaired. Both users tend to supplement with email notifications as needed.

    I'm curious just how strong nodeBB's accessibility support is. Searching the archives didn't yield much. This was a dealbreaker when I was considering Discourse, so I'm hoping it's better here.

    How do you recommend visually impaired people use nodeBB?

  • Global Moderator Plugin & Theme Dev

    Here's a couple of things that may be true:

    • Bootstrap has good support for accessibility. NodeBB is based on Bootstrap, so I'd expect it to have at least fairly good accessibility.
    • NodeBB has server-side rendering, which would allow text-only readers support
    • NodeBB has a fairly simple layout with good divisions between content and navigation, etc
  • GNU/Linux

    The best thing to do is to have some privileged members give this forum a test drive.

    Can they easily navigate between parts of the site? If not, let us know where the sticking points are and we'll try to address them!

  • #4

    I echo @julian's sentiments. In this project my priority is UX (user experience), and my work doesn't mean squat if users who do not have the privilege of sight can't even comprehend messages posted on forums.

    I'm very interested in helping, please get the right people connected with me and I'll give it a shot!

  • #5

    I'd love to just hear how your users read even this thread, maybe attempt to post.

    I'm sure its not great at all. That said, our project is all about evolving by user expectations. The same thing will happen in this case, I will 100% assure you.

  • Plugin & Theme Dev

    I've just tested some access via lynx.

    The most important issue is that I cannot login.
    I always get 403 Forbidden.


    Since I'm not using lynx on a regular basis (only when I really have no X server running), I don't know how to observe the traffic more detailed.


  • #7

    OK, I also see that it's "read-only" in Lynx. I assume that means that people using it won't be able to post, just read the forums. Is that a bug or the desired behavior?

    (I can't test it out because, as mentioned, the login doesn't work.)

  • #8

    Maybe that language should be revisited "your viewing experience" to "your browsing experience"

    I would imagine logging in is the first of many problems we will encounter, I'd be surprised if posting would work off the shelf

  • GNU/Linux

    We use websocket for posting, so that's an instant no-go. If the composer fell back to using xhr, that would work.

  • #10

    This looks like a great opportunity to improve accessibility. +1

  • #11

    Thanks for devoting some attention to this, appreciate it!

    One question - as mentioned, some of my users typically just use email to browse mailing lists and etc. Is it possible to use nodeBB as a listserv in that way? That is, is there a way to get notifications for every new post and comment, and reply via email, etc, like you can with Yahoo groups or Google groups? That would also help with accessibility a bit.

  • Global Moderator Plugin & Theme Dev

    @Mike-Battaglia yes there is. Email notifications is something @julian implemented a couple versions ago. You can even reply to the emails to post.

  • #13

    FWIW, it's a few years later -- I was able to log in via elinks (a lynx variant used by one of our members), and though the interface was a little messy it worked. Search seemed to not work (or I wasn't using it right), but I could browse. Writing a reply to a post seemed impossible though, as I got "403 forbidden." Have not tried with JAWS or the like yet. I'm not sure if this is on the roadmap to change but here is a quick note that these are the results as of June 2018.

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