Making MultiMarkdown More Accessible

12/14/2018 23:43:12

Over the years, one of the things that has been most satisfying to me about my time spent working on MultiMarkdown is to see how it has been used by people all over the world. It’s used by people who write in languages I can’t begin to understand, and I’ve had to learn a lot in order to fix some of the problems that arose based on my mistaken assumptions about how MMD will be used.

Now, I want to put a bit more effort into continuing to expand the circle of people for whom MMD is useful. Specifically, I want to improve the accessibility of MultiMarkdown in two separate ways:

  1. I want to improve the accessibility of HTML documents created with MMD. Ideally, the default behavior should provide compatibility with as many accessibility guidelines as possible with little to no effort on the part of authors. (I am open to improving other formats as well, but it seems that HTML is probably the most important.)

  2. I want to improve the accessibility of the MultiMarkdown Composer application.

For example, I recently had a family member suffer a small stroke that affected vision. One of the effects was to make reading more difficult. The description of the difficulty sounded similar in some ways to dyslexia, and I remembered seeing fonts that were designed to improve reading for people with dyslexia. I downloaded the OpenDyslexic font, and using this actually made reading a bit easier.

This experience reminded me of a discussion with Paul Knox about a year ago, where he pointed out an opportunity to tweak MultiMarkdown to help improve web-page compliance with ADA requirements. It’s time to circle back to that idea and see what can be done.

To do this, I need help. Specifically, I need:

  1. Ideas for improvements – what is missing from MultiMarkdown? What can be better?

  2. Ideas for resources/guidelines/validation tools/etc.

  3. Help implementing – send me concrete examples of what the HTML source should include. Send me ideas for input syntax when necessary. Send me working code. Send me GitHub pull requests. Send me your stories of what you struggle with but don’t have a solution for. I won’t guarantee everything gets included, but everything will get looked at.

  4. Feedback – as new ideas get implemented, I need feedback as to whether they actually work. Let me know how things can be better.

In order to keep the ideas easily organized, please use the following for submissions:

Thank you!

Fletcher Penney

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