Help Make MODX Accessible

Join the campaign to fund completion of an accessible MODX Revolution Manager to help make MODX work for everyone. You can make a difference!

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Take your eyeglasses off (they’re assistive technology) and see how easy it is to use a website or interface. Try surfing the web with your eyes closed while a web page is read aloud to you. Or, enlarge your fonts to 3× their normal size, crank down the contrast and brightness on your monitor, and only use your thumb on your non-dominant hand. For many people, there is no other way to interact with the web.

MODX has always been a stellar platform for powering accessible websites, but the back-end Manager falls short. People who use assistive technology such as screen readers, enlarged fonts and alternate input devices were never really considered—that must change.

It’s time to act now and right that wrong! Making an accessible MODX CMS Manager is the right thing—for everybody, but we need your help to complete this huge task.

Our Goal: Let’s Bring MODX to Everyone, Today

Much of the innovation in MODX CMS stemmed from client needs, but an initiative of this magnitude can’t be the burden of a single customer. Examples of past innovation include caching that can support millions of visitors per day, to amazing multi-site and multi-language capabilities, to being able to work off S3-stored images as if they were on your local server to name a few … the list could go on and on.

When The Ohio State University came to us earlier this year, we were excited by getting the backing to finally make this happen. We needed to accomplish a few key goals:

  • Protect their current investment in MODX Revolution sites with a clean upgrade
  • Make it possible to allow anyone to use MODX for managing content
  • Make it easy to install in an existing 2.3.x-based site

MODX has a lot of traction on campus. For site administrators and content creators, the Manager interface is logical, intuitive, and simple to use. But there are a number of staff on campus who rely on assistive technologies, such as screen readers, or who have other vision impairments or need access by using the keyboard alone because of a motor disability.

To this point, MODX hasn’t been a practical solution for them. But Ohio State and others in the accessibility community are working with the MODX team over the next few months to help guide changes to the Manager interfaces so that they can be used effectively by everyone, including our staff with disabilities.

Ken Petri
Director, Ohio State Web Accessibility Center

Taking on the Challenge

To accomplish this, we assembled a team of experienced professionals in both Accessibility and advanced Manager development. Since kicking off the effort, we’ve completed a ton of research and developed a proof of concept for some key functionality. Now it’s time to polish the work and get it out to users everywhere, just like you.

What it Looks Like Today

We recently opened a GitHub repository for the Accessible MODX Manager project where the work is being planned, tracked and developed. Here are some of the items we’ve identified and started to address:

  • Keyboard Navigation
  • ARIA roles, states, and properties for all the major areas of the Manager UI
  • Visual Contrast to meet WCAG guidelines
  • Clean up text presentation for screen readers
  • Focus indication

We’ve already prototyped and proven we can create a Manager that will be a first-class citizen of the accessible software world. Now it’s time to polish the work, test thoroughly and document fully. Additional work to do:

  • Rework many form elements
  • Implement keyboard navigation on all pages
  • Ensure focus follows dynamic windows, modals and form errors
  • Address contrast issues across the board
  • Lots and lots and lots of Testing and iterative adjustments

The final result will be a new Manager Theme you can install in MODX 2.3 or later. A simple change of your Manager Theme setting will enable anyone to use MODX to create and manage sites in an accessible CMS.

Be a Part of the Story

To complete this initiative, we need to raise an additional $25,000 USD to match what Ohio State has funded to date. Your generosity will help countless people around the world and foster the continuing growth of the MODX platform. Every donation will immediately be put to good use, paying the folks doing the work and providing funding to hire experts and testing services when needed.

If you use MODX today, you should help us do the right thing and bring MODX to everyone in the world. Every amount helps moves us towards our goal, no matter the size.

MODX community member and screencaster, Jeroen Kenters, put together this special episode of his Web Dev Stories screencast to show his support and share why it’s such an important initiative.

And, if you use MODX in a Government, Education or Enterprise setting, you should definitely contribute today! Go click that button right now and help ensure MODX continues to be the cornerstone of all your web projects.

How to Give

You can donate today using a Paypal account or most major credit cards. If you need to be invoiced, contact us to make it happen.

Stretch Goals

There’s still more to do. While we don’t have concrete plans today, if we surpass our $50,000 USD target, we’d love to keep improving the Manager in other ways, and improve the experience of working in MODX:

  • Document the improvements and functionality for organizations that need it for their own internal compliance documentation
  • Installer—redesign and rework the installer to be not only a much better experience, but also to be fully accessible as well
  • System Configuration—rework the system configuration to streamline setting up and configuring MODX by anyone
  • Non-ExtJS Content Editing Interface for Mobiles
  • Hire a UX pro to tackle some of the more complex areas in the Manager UI, like ACLs


Campaign updates will appear here and on the MODX Blog. To stay up to date on the campaign, be sure to subscribe by email.

Accessibility Campaign Update #1

Update for February 24, 2015

We launched our fundraising campaign to make the MODX Revolution Manager accessible just over a week ago. Since then, we’ve had a wonderful response, with generous donors from around the world. To date we’ve raised a $29,648 including the $25,000 from The Ohio State University—just shy of 60% of our goal! The other comes from:

  • 76 awesome MODX Community members
  • Each contributing an average of $57
  • Three individuals generously gave $500
  • Eight others showed a big thumbs-up with $100
  • 43% of supporters have made contributions of $25

In addition to our progress, our campaign has garnered media attention, with more on the way, including CMS Critic and SitePoint’s Versioning newsletter.

If you’ve already participated, thank you and stay tuned for more updates soon. If you’re a MODXer and haven't yet contributed, please help support this worthy cause!

Donate to the Accessible MODX Manager campaign

donated* toward our $50,000 goal

* donations updated daily, by gentle hands

Donation Rewards

In conjunction with Deque University, who is providing the acessibility training rewards, and The Ohio State University we want to thank you for helping make MODX accessible. Shirts and stickers will ship starting August 31, 2015.

Click the boxes below to give at that level, or click to give any amount. Thank you!

  1. Karmic Enhancer $10

    Increase your Open Source karma and feel great about giving to a very worthy project.

  2. Supporter $25

    Add Your Name to the MODX Wall of Fame and gain six months access to the Web Accessibility Fundamentals course from Deque University. It would only take 1000 supporters at this level to fully fund the project.

  3. Stickered $50

    Previous rewards, plus a super-cool MODX sticker perfect to place proudly on your laptop including postage to anywhere in the world. You’ll also receive six months access to the HTML & CSS Accessibility course from Deque University.

  4. Community Advocate $100

    All previous rewards, plus a MODX Community Forum Badge and six months access to the Web Accessibility Testing course from Deque University.

  5. A11y Devotee (N Am) $250

    All previous rewards, plus a limited-edition high contrast T-shirt with free shipping in the US. You’ll also receive six months access to the Testing with Screen Readers course from Deque University.

  6. A11y Devotee (Intl) $275

    All previous rewards, plus a high contrast T-shirt with free global shipping. You’ll also receive six months access to the Testing with Screen Readers course from Deque University.

  7. Testing Master $500

    Max out as an individual, and top it off with a MODX baseball cap in a color exclusively for campaign participants. You will also receive six months access to the revised ARIA & JavaScript Accessibility course from Deque University.

We also have a special category for organizations that want to truly demonstrate their commitment to accessibility and MODX.

  1. Sponsor $1,000

    Your linked logo will be front and center on the upcoming MODX accessibility website, which will detail the accessibility statement for MODX CMS, and tell the story of how this important initiative came to be.

  2. Team MODX $5,000

    Join Team MODX and get the uniforms designed for working in your free-for-a year MODX Cloud Studio plan. You’ll receive five T-shirts and mesh back ballcaps—no high browed, flat-billed trucker caps here—to share with your co-workers, friends or colleagues.

  3. Title Sponsor $10,000

    Your organization logo and a link will be front and center on the upcoming MODX accessibility website (at this very URL), which will detail the accessibility mission for MODX CMS, and tell the story of how this important initiative came to be. In addition, the same linked credit will go into the MODX CMS Accessible Manager theme itself, so anyone in the world will know you care.

Have a question about the MODX Accessibility Project or rewards? Please reach out to us about this project and tell us what’s on your mind.

Do the right thing and help bring MODX to everyone, today!  

Donate Now!

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