7

I started to add the tag to a question about image scaling, but was taken aback by the tag wiki excerpt:

Making technical writing easy to understand for non-technical readers.

The wiki goes on to say:

Making technical writing easy to understand for non-technical readers. How to simplify or streamline complex concepts or jargon terminology so that someone without a heavy background in the subject can understand what's being written.

While that's a useful concept, in my experience "accessibility" means something very different: it's about making content available to people with a variety of needs. Accessibility in my world means font sizes, contrast, alt text for images (for screenreaders), navigable layout (that can work with keyboard shortcuts), language no more complex than it needs to be, and so on. Beyond the world of writing, "accessibility" means ramps, sign-language interpreters, baby changing stations, ergonomic furniture/equipment, and so on.

There are only six questions on this tag right now. Based on the titles, three of them align with the wiki description and three align with what I understand "accessibility" to mean. The questions are:

How should we resolve this?

  • It looks like this hasn't been acted on...is there anything we can do to move it along? – Cyn Mar 13 at 20:31
  • 1
    I edited the tags of the questions listed and changed the tag wiki. The tag edits can be reversed and the wiki rejected, so nothing irreparable. – bruglesco Mar 23 at 20:13
  • @bruglesco thanks. I changed the tag summary (which still talked about technical writing) to match the wiki you added. – Monica Cellio Mar 24 at 2:09
  • Oops. I missed that. [tag:status- complete]? – bruglesco Mar 24 at 2:12
3

"Accessibility" has a specific meaning in many fields and among laypeople. It's about disability access. It may also have a more general, more vague, meaning increasing readership. But that's not the meaning most people think of when searching.

I suggest we rewrite the wiki to give it the more common but narrower meaning of disability access, then retag questions as needed.

It's important for disability access questions to be easy to find (and makes it easier for people whose disabilities make scanning large numbers of questions more difficult).

Note: accessibility and disability overlap but would not be the same thing. The former is about removing barriers to encountering your work and the latter is writing about disability.

5

In other stacks that I visit (User Experience, Super User, and Stack Overflow), is also the one that I search specifically when I have questions about how to make things that interact better with screen readers, users with low vision, users with mobility impairments, etc.

I think that the "broad" use ("making my tech writing my accessible to non-specialists") is more of a or (best fit, imho) situation.

(I don't know if we have any SE sites specifically for/about users with special needs, or section 508 compliance. I hope bringing my experience with 3 other SE sites counts as "support" for my answer, and not just a polled opinion. )

  • 1
    We've had some questions here about section 508 compliance, I think. It's definitely on-topic here. Thanks for bringing your experience here! – Monica Cellio Mar 5 at 15:30
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I would change the description to match the use, so add to the tag to include the broader definition of "accessibility".

I don't think there is a major conflict among the 6 questions. The titles make it clear who each question is targeting or concerned about reaching.

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