Beta of Accessible Nashville WordPress Theme

Almost a year ago, I caught the accessible WordPress theme bug. Specifically I caught it from Joseph Karr O’Connor at last year’s CSUN Conference on Technology and Disabilities. Something about his kindness and enthusiasm made me open my mouth and volunteer to do an “Accessible Nashville” WordPress theme for Accessible Cities.

Download It

Today (Feb. 27, 2014) I’m releasing a beta version. It’s named “All Y’all.” If you would like the code, you can  download it as a zip file from GitHub.

And you can see it in action right here on this website. I’m using it with the defaults, except instead of a background of #ddd (light gray) I added one of the subtle patterns.

I’ve tested it with the theme check plugin, and it’s fine, but I want to hold off submitting it to WordPress as an official theme until I get a thumbs up about its accessibility from the Cities cognoscenti.

What’s Special About This Theme?

WordPress logo superimposed on the international access symbol

Accessible WordPress

I’ve focused on the following qualities (in alphabetical order):

  • Accessibility (first and foremost)
  • Customizability (using many of those “add_theme_support” functions, such as custom backgrounds)
  • Good Google juice — in other words SEO
  • Responsiveness, so it works well on mobile devices, etc.
  • Simple elegance – focusing on fonts and consistent line heights (with a 7 pixel vertical base)

Originally the primary audience was congregations — churches, temples, sanghas, etc. But it’s simple and flexible enough that I’ve already put an early version to work for one of my favorite non-profits — NVC Nashville. I’m working on a congregation-focused child theme and will announce it on this site when it’s ready.

Why “All Y’all”?

The theme is named “All Y’all” for a couple of reasons. For one thing, that’s the way we speak inclusivity here in Nashville. If you really want to include everyone, you don’t just say “y’all.” You say “all y’all” — e.g. “all y’all come on down.” And if that’s not enough, its initial letters look a lot like “a11y” — the numeronym for accessibility. It’s a name and domain that just had to be.

Aug. 2014 Update

I’m in the final lap of getting it ready to submit to wordpress.org. I received a fantastic accessibility audit from Wayne Dick and his student, John Sweet, and am incorporating their feedback right now. Once that’s done, it’s out the door….