Aug. 7th, 2011

eateroftrees: Emily's head from the side (Default)

So um. Dreamwidth is being obnoxious. I sent them a message saying:
I am colorblind, which means that frequently red and black are indistinguishable for me; the default styles, including the one I selected, apparently include styles that use red links contrasted with black text, with no secondary indicator of links, and so I'm unable to actually navigate blog posts.

I have found out how to change the color, but even so there are a variety of forms of colorblindness and I would appreciate being able to have my links underlined, as even changing my link color to blue would still present accessibility problems for some people, which I have not been able to find a setting for.

It would also be quite helpful if the default themes were checked for accessibility and so choosing from the default settings would not have a situation like this where it is extremely difficult to use the site.

Further addition, I found out how to add custom CSS to underline my links; so that isn't a problem, though a more user-friendly option would be greatly appreciated for anyone else who doesn't have friends who know CSS, and I'm still concerned that this is a problem amongst uncustomized styles, as not everyone is quite as dedicated to making sure I can read their blog.


The replied:

As you surely know, there are many types of color blindness and many types of visual issues from people needing low color contrast to people needing as few lines as possible on the screen and vice versa. It would be impossible for us to make themes which everybody would be comfortable with. We would always have to favor one category of users over others. That is why we try to offer a wide choice of styles and themes -- we currently have 27 styles and over 450 themes -- and let people customize them quite extensively. You obviously already know how to customize the colors of your theme but here are a few things you may not know:

-- If you like your current style but would like to use a theme whose colors are better suited to you, you can see all the themes which are associated to one style by clicking on its name at the Customize page (in your case:

-- If you'd like to be able to browse styles and themes by color instead, you can use a third-party tool one of our volunteers made and which we plan on integrating to our official pages:

-- You can preview themes before you select them by clicking on the preview button which is in the upper right corner of every thumbnail shown at It'll show you exactly what your journal would look like if you used the theme.

-- Official styles and themes are made by users. You can submit your own at

-- To make sure every Dreamwidth blog is readable to you, we have an option which lets you view any journal in your own style. It's the 'Journal View Style' option at

As for underlining links you're correct that we don't have a user-friendly option which would let you do this. I've linked you to the FAQ explaining how to suggest improvements if you'd like this to become an option.

I hope this helps.


Like, okay seriously? I said I solved the problem for myself, I don't need you to tell me more ways to fix it. aWhat I need you to do is acknowledge that 5% of the population is colorblind, and you have NO OPTIONS FOR ANY OF THEM. You don't have an option anywhere to say "Hey I'm colorblind I want styles that won't cause problems here!" You don't have an option anywhere that says "Hey I have visual impairments and need a simple theme, give me one that works here." You're basically saying "Well making our site accessible is hard work so we're not going to anything about it."

Also why the fuck are you saying "You should suggest this as a feature!" I JUST FUCKING DID it's a bug report i'm saying "your accessibility fucking sucks, please fix this, here's a way you could accomidate EVERY FORM OF COLORBLINDNESS as well as chromatically abnormal monitors," that basically means I'm saying "YOU NEED A WAY TO UNDERLINE LINKS WITHOUT CSS HACKS". This is a fucking bug.

This really is unsurprising, as most websites are like this. But most websites don't have a statement linked on every page of their fucking website that says "We think accessibility for people with disabilities is a priority, not an afterthought. We think neurodiversity is a feature, not a bug." in it. So at this point about all i can say is they're lying in their diversity statement.

Of course this is the website that charges you fifteen dollars if you need to hide from stalkers so I should hardly expect good things.

ETA: It's been pointed out to me that the site skin defaultly uses underlined red links.  You can change this, but I checked and every single option uses underlined links (though it might be using browser defaults, in which case someone who configured their browser to not underline links wouldn't get them underlined.)

Regardless, this leads to the obvious question: WHAT THE FUCK.  Either: you're not giving a fuck about the people with visual disabilities you basically said "well we can't do that because these people" about, OR you've got a system that works for them some of the time in your main theme, but can't carry that over into your user themes.

Either way, your new motto should be "We care about accessibility! As long as you never bring it up."


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