Accessibility Special | WordPress Leeds - April 2017


Our monthly meetup for WordPress users, bloggers and developers.

This month we have an accessibility special, with talks and demos from renowned accessibility expert Graham Armfield. Graham is going to run two sessions; The first will be a talk about testing your own websites for accessibility compatibility, and the second will be a demo of some assistive technologies that many people use to access websites.

Talk: So how do I know if my WordPress site is accessible?

Most people have heard of web accessibility and understand why it might be important. But not everyone is clear about the key issues involved, and how to measure accessibility.

I’ve distilled some key web accessibility guidelines down into a series of simple yes/no questions – questions that anyone can answer about their own websites. These questions do not cover every single accessibility consideration, but if you can give the right answer to these questions your website is going to be more accessible than many sites out there.

As well as the list of questions I’ll introduce a simple (and free) toolkit that you can put together to help answer the questions.

Demo: Using Assistive Technologies

I’ve spoken about web accessibility techniques and tests at many WordCamps and meetups, and I’ve realised that for some people the key to realising why accessibility is so important comes from understanding how people with disabilities actually use the websites we build.

So in this presentation I’m going to demo two pieces of assistive technology, and show you how they are actually used by people who rely on them to access the web.

Featured assistive technology (AT):

• Dragon NaturallySpeaking – voice recognition software, typically used by those with motor impairments for whom using mouse and keyboard is not an option.

• NVDA – a free, open source screen reader, typically used by those who are blind, or with poor eyesight, but also sometimes used by dyslexics and others with cognitive impairments.

Come and learn what it’s like to browse the web from a different perspective.

About Graham

I’m a Web Accessibility Consultant with my own company Coolfields Consulting. I work with organisations to help them improve the accessibility of their websites – testing the websites for accessibility, and advising the designers and developers on how to fix issues found. I have also written and presented detailed training courses on accessibility for developers

I’m also a WordPress developer, and I’ve built many accessible WordPress websites for clients – both large and small. I’m member of the Make WordPress Accessible Team and I’ve spoken on accessibility to many WordCamps and other WordPress meetups.

Outside of work you’re likely to find me playing my guitar, recording my next album or performing at local open mic evenings.


Leeds Digital Festival 2017

This month's event is just one of over 100 events participating in the Leeds Digital Festival 2017, which runs from 22nd-29th April.

The festival is a city-wide, open platform celebration of all things digital within Leeds, the Digital Capital of the North. 1 Week, 100+ events, 50+ venues and 10,000 attendees.

To find out more and view the full schedule, please visit the Leeds Digital Festival website (


A big thank you to FutureLabs ( who let us use their fantastic venue for free!

Thanks to the lovely folks at Delicious Media (, there will be pizza at the start of the event.


6:00pm: Doors open for pizza and drinks
6:15pm: Introduction and welcome
6:20pm: WordPress news
6:30pm: Talk: So how do I know if my WordPress site is accessible?
7:10pm: Break for refreshments
7:20pm: Demo: Using Assistive Technologies
8:00pm: Q&A open discussion
8:30pm: Event finishes & Social

After the event, we will be heading to Headrow House for further discussion and drinks.

Why not speak at our next event?

We are always looking for people to come and speak at our events. So if you have an idea for a talk, a discussion or just want to show folks what you have been working on, get in touch. You don't need to be a professional speaker or even to have spoken in a group before.

If you don't want to do a talk, but are interested in hearing about a specific subject, or have an idea/problem, get in touch and we will try and find someone who can help.