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  • Graham Armfield 5:46 pm on March 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    Digital Accessibility Centre Visit – Part 3: The Blind Perspective 

    This is the third post documenting a recent visit to Digital Accessibility Centre in Neath, South Wales organised by fellow team member Siobhan BamberThe first post can be found here, and the second post here.

    Three of the staff from DAC gave us feedback on using the WordPress admin screens. Each of the three have a particular impairment, and the visit was a valuable opportunity to learn about ways we could improve WordPress for everyone.

    In this post we take feedback from Carly who is totally blind. She showed us how she used a screen reader and gave us some great feedback on using the WordPress admin screens with a screen reader.

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    • ceo 6:19 pm on March 24, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Looks like there’s lots to chat about. :-)

      It is important to let people know when a new panel or window is to open – eg Add Media.

      I’ve only been saying this for, well, ever. Though, to be fair, it was even worse before when these kinds of things popped up and you literally could navigate out of the window with the screen reader but still have it open. (At least, I don’t encounter the issue any more, personally. It might still be broken in some places.)

    • _Redd 8:09 pm on April 1, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Graham, this is sheer gold. I hope we can chat about this in the next IRC meeting. Thanks again for everything you’ve done here.

  • Graham Armfield 2:40 pm on March 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , colour contrast, , , text resize   

    Digital Accessibility Centre Visit – Part 2: Poor Vision 

    This is the second post (of three) documenting a recent visit to Digital Accessibility Centre in Neath, South Wales organised by fellow team member Siobhan Bamber. The first post can be found here.

    Three of the staff from DAC gave us feedback on using the WordPress admin screens. Each of the three have a particular impairment, and the visit was a valuable opportunity to learn about ways we could improve WordPress for everyone.

    In this post we take feedback from Gary who has poor vision.

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  • Graham Armfield 11:48 am on March 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , voice recognition   

    Digital Accessibility Centre Visit – Part 1: Introduction, Keyboard and Dragon Testing 

    On February 25th 2014 I was honoured to visit the offices of the Digital Accessibility Centre in Neath, South Wales, UK. The trip was organised by fellow wpa11y team member Siobhan Bamber.

    This post is the first in a series of three which summarise the feedback we received on using WordPress from three users with impairments. Our first session was with Becs who uses Dragon NaturallySpeaking (voice recognition software) and does keyboard accessibility testing.

     

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    • _Redd 5:58 pm on April 1, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Graham, this is a drop-dead fantastic report. I have no doubt that there are many who will be grateful for the elegant manner in which you’ve described the problems, and made them visible to those who don’t use assistive technology.

      Regarding

      “In all cases, she felt strongly that tab order should follow what’s visible on the screen. She also felt it was confusing and not at all intuitive to have to reverse tab to reach the Add media button and the Change Permalink button in the Edit Post screen”.

      If you recall, I was confused for the same reason when conducting keyboard tests as to the reasoning behind tab order, but was only able to my confusion as frustration. It was said so much more elegantly here, in that tab order should follow what’s visible on screen. I fully agree. But I’m not sure the “skip links” may be coming into play here, and that actually, things were working the way they should have.

      It has become a real puzzle as to why one has to “reverse tab” in order to bring focus to the Add Media button, even though it is a link. At first I thought it was a FireFox problem, but I find it present on all three browsers, just testing for tab order—nothing to do with Dragon Naturally Speaking. But this is a consistent problem. At first I thought it might be because of the span class wp-media-buttons-icon, but other areas within the screen, with the same class, receive focus when they should. Perhaps, this too, should be another action item.

      At any rate, I am again overwhelmed at how awesome your insights are, and I think it is safe to say we are all grateful for what you do.

  • Graham Armfield 10:54 am on February 4, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: ah-o2, help,   

    AH-O2 Accessibility Testing 

    I’ve been doing some accessibility testing with version 0.4.0 of the AH-O2 plugin which adds tooltips to some links and input fields within the admin area where it’s felt appropriate.

    I’ve commented on my findings directly into the Docs blog. You can see my comments here: http://make.wordpress.org/docs/2014/02/04/ah-o-update-3-february-2014/

     
  • Graham Armfield 4:52 pm on November 30, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , aria-hidden, i18n,   

    Patches provided for #25459 – Meaningful links in Admin 

    I’ve added two patches to trac ticket #25459 which solve the meaningful links issue. They use a new function which employs the aria-hidden attribute to allow meaningful text for screen readers to sit alongside shorter text for sighted users, and allows both strings to be translated with correct grammar/spelling in all languages.

    They work for me, but it would be great if someone else could test them on their own environment with a screen reader to double check. Maybe we could get this into 3.8.

     
  • Graham Armfield 11:30 am on November 28, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    Analysis of what gets into the alt and title attributes when adding an image into a page/post 

    There was some debate in last night’s IRC chat about trac ticket 26270 raised by @yaelkmiller. Her original point was that when adding images to pages and posts, the Alt text box should have more prominence than the Title box – the alt attribute being an important accessibility feature.

    Personally, I think the idea is a good one, but discussion and comments by @helen also revealed some interesting behaviour when inserting images concerning what text ends up in the title attribute of the image, and what text ends up in the alt attribute.

    I’ve done a series of tests using different use cases and they are presented in the tables below – including my expected results and the actual results.

    Uploading images

    Test No. Use Case Graham’s Expected Result Actual Result in Page
    1 Upload image, add it to page with no change to Title box or Alt text box Title attribute set to image name minus suffix Title attribute absent, alt attribute set to image name minus suffix – ie what the Title box was set to
    2 Upload image, add it to page but change Title box, not Alt text box Title attribute set to amended value Title attribute absent, alt attribute set to amended Title box value
    3 Upload image, add it to page but change Alt text box, not Title box Title attribute set to image name minus suffix, alt attribute set to amended value Title attribute absent, alt attribute set to amended Alt text box value
    4 Upload image, add it to page but change both Alt text box and Title box Both title and alt attributes set to amended values Title attribute absent, alt attribute set to amended Alt text box value

    Using images from media library (previously uploaded) without amendment

    Test No. Use Case Graham’s Expected Result Actual Result in Page
    5 Add image from media library that has Title box set but not Alt text box Title attribute set but not alt Title attribute absent, alt attribute set to whatever Title box was before
    6 Add image from media library that has Alt text box set but not Title box Alt attribute set but not title Alt attribute set but not title
    7 Add image from media library that has both Title box and Alt text box set Both attrubutes set Title attribute absent, alt attribute set to whatever Alt text box was before
    8 Add image from media library that has neither Title box nor Alt text box set Title attribute absent, alt attribute empty Title attribute absent, alt attribute empty

    Using images from media library (previously uploaded) but making amendments

    Test No. Use Case Graham’s Expected Result Actual Result in Page
    9 Add image from media library, that has just Title box set, update Title box Title attribute set but not alt Title attribute absent, alt attribute set to whatever Title box was amended to
    10 Add image from media library, that has just Alt text box set, update Alt text box Alt attribute set but not title Title attribute absent, alt attribute set to whatever Alt text box was amended to
    11 Add image from media library, that has neither Title box set nor Alt text box set, update Title box Title attribute set but not alt Title attribute absent, alt attribute set to whatever Title box was amended to
    12 Add image from media library, that has neither Title box set nor Alt text box set, update Alt text box Alt attribute set, no title attribute Title attribute absent, alt attribute set to whatever Alt text box was amended to
    13 Add image from media library, that has both Title box and Alt text box set, update Alt text box Both attributes set Title attribute absent, alt attribute set to whatever Alt text box was amended to
    14 Add image from media library, that has both Title box and Alt text box set, update Title box Both attributes set Title attribute absent, alt attribute set to whatever Alt text box was originally set to

    Looking at the results

    Using the Add Media Panel to insert an imageThe first revealing thing about these tests is that my own view of how I thought WordPress worked is at odds with the actual results in most cases.

    The second thing that’s become obvious is that it’s actually impossible to set the title attribute for an image whilst using the Add Media panel. The title attribute never appears in any of the results.

    Actually the only way to set a title attribute image within pages and posts is to use the older image edit dialogue box once the image is placed within the page (or to manually update the HTML obviously).

    I think the confusion comes from the labeling of the Title input field in the Add Media Panel. Helen refers to this in her comments on the trac ticket I believe. Maybe to avoid confusion this box should be given another label – ‘Image name’ maybe. I confess that I hadn’t noticed this change in WordPress behaviour – it did used to be possible to directly influence the title attribute of an image when uploading and adding it to a page/post.

    I’m sure that I’m not the only one who didn’t appreciate this situation. There is a plugin called Shutter Reloaded that I’ve seen on a couple of sites, which uses the title attribute from the image to provide a caption beneath the image when the full size is shown. Obviously this plugin is broken if site admins don’t realise the title attributes aren’t being written into the <img> tags – and the plugin author perhaps doesn’t realise either. I can’t comment on other lightbox plugins.

    What do you think? Is this what you expected? Is this the right way to go?

     
    • Rian Rietveld 3:23 pm on November 29, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hi Graham,
      The addition the title attribute to the element img was removed a few versions of WordPress ago, which is a improvement to my opinion.

      I use the title only for labeling the images in the Media Library, yes, maybe image name is a better description for that input field.

      And it seems logical to add the images name into the alt field if the alt field is empty, but that can result in alt texts like IMG_123. Maybe the best way is to leave the alt text empty unless a user entered a value there.
      An alt=””is always better than an alt=”IMG_123″.

      Rian

  • Graham Armfield 10:22 am on October 22, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    Welcome to the Make WordPress Accessible Team 

    Hello. You’ve found the blog of the Make WordPress Accessible team – a bunch of volunteers who are striving to improve the accessibility of WordPress. We need your help.

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  • Graham Armfield 4:56 pm on July 8, 2013 Permalink
    Tags:   

    Accessibility Objectives for WordPress – Initial Thoughts 

    Some of us have been talking recently about pulling together some accessibility objectives for WordPress. These are things that we feel could, or should, be happening to ensure that the profile of accessibility is enhanced with the WordPress community.

    Ultimately, in order to support Matt Mullenweg’s view on the democratisation of the web by web-related software we want as many WordPress websites as possible to be accessible to as many people as possible. We also need to ensure that the WordPress admin screens are not excluding certain user groups from key parts of functionality.

    With that in mind, here is our initial list of objectives. Please feel free to comment on these, and to suggest others that you think are also important.

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    • _Redd 9:07 pm on July 8, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great list, and provides a great map for a path forward. Huge thanks for putting this together.

      Regarding,

      Development of formal education and outreach programs

      So that all WordPress core developers can gain a deeper understanding of the range of issues faced by disabled and elderly users.

      I personally don’t think this should be directed only at core developers, or even mainly at core developers. It should be much broader, so that those who support the supporters are educated. For a real-life example, take the instance in which a manager instructed that the words “text size” small, medium, and large from the web page because it interfered with design, or made color choices that would have made it impossible for those with color-blindness to actually read the web page. The outreach should extend not only to those who code or design, but to those who manage, approve, fund, or are otherwise beholden to the creation that is a web page. If managers understood the impact of their decisions, then that alone would enable designers to build accessible features even at the most basic level.

      Thanks again for what you’re doing here.

    • _Redd 9:19 pm on July 8, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      A couple more things to add.

      1. In the “providing resources” section, what’s the possibility of actually creating a new, accessibility forum in the support forums?

      2. I don’t know how to categorize this, but is it possible to visit “how” accessible themes are made available through WordPress.com and WordPress.org theme search? . I understand the “accessible-ready” tag is a seal of approval, but I’m concerned that the tag may be unfamiliar to a casual user. Perhaps, if we could find out how a casual user searches for such themes (I’m guessing accessible, or accessibility, or a11y) then we could make a point to include those tags so the themes come up better in searches. Right now, for what ever reason, it’s not easy to find them.

      Also, what’s the possibility of adding a pointer to accessible themes from this blog, or some highly visible location?

      Thanks again!

    • Joe Dolson 3:06 am on July 9, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The visibility of accessible themes in the WordPress.org theme search is essentially non-existent, as it stands. The theme repository has a controlled tag structure: only the tags listed on the tag filter (http://wordpress.org/themes/tag-filter/) are allowed – there are no tags in the directory not on that list.

      So, we can’t just add random tags; every tag needs to be a unique way of associating that particular characteristic of a theme.

      We can encourage people to use whatever accessibility terminology they choose in their description of the theme; but the “accessibility-ready” tag would still be the only one of definitively pulling up all themes that include that characteristic.

      I’m not sure that the theme search tool is actually all that heavily used; but I don’t really know that. I’ve never used it other than to try and identify accessible themes; searching all terms I could think of.

    • _Redd 12:49 pm on July 9, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thankyou (as always!) Joe.

      Let me try to amplify my remarks a little, because I’m not trying to remove the “accessibility-ready” tag from the equation. Not at all. I just think we should be adding additional tags to address the common way in which people search.

      I guess at the heart of it, I ‘m unsure why adding “random” tags is in conflict with the need to have a unique identifier. The unique identifier of “accessibility-ready” is a seal of approval, and we should “market” it that way. But to FIND accessible themes is something else. Additional tags relative to accessibility would help those themes surface. In my mind, it’s no different than having a unique web-site, and using multiple meta-tags in the header for SEO purposes, or to assist in search, or in using #accessibility and #a11y in Twitter, yet having only one, authoritative Twitter site for the WordPress accessibility group.

      For the particular case where someone is logged into WordPress, and searches for a new theme, they go to the page tab, “Install Themes”. The first way they’ll look for the theme is through a keyword search, so the addtional meta-tags of accessibility, a11y, etc. would help there. But the next place they’ll look is the “Feature Filter”—they have themes organized by colors, columns, etc. Can we coordinate with whomever develops the interface so that we could have a section labeled, “accessibility-ready”, or “accessible”, or something like that?

      I hope I’m making sense. At any rate, thanks again, and I’m always looking forward to whatever further input you may have on the matter. Take care.

    • esmi 1:16 pm on July 9, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I ‘m unsure why adding “random” tags is in conflict with the need to have a unique identifier.

      Because the whole theme repo system relies on a limited set pre-defined tags. Throwing it open to random tags would stop that system working effectively.

      Can we coordinate with whomever develops the interface so that we could have a section labeled, “accessibility-ready”, or “accessible”, or something like that?

      We already have someone. Well… two someones actually. Myself and Joe D. We both discussed this at length with the rest of the theme review team (who have been tremendously supportive). In order to develop an a11y audit that would work within the overall theme review system, we needed to come up with a single tag that didn’t “over-promise”. Tagging a theme as “accessible” was quickly dropped as – in reality – there is no such thing. A theme can only facilitate the creation of an accessible site. It is not “accessible” within itself. The tag “accessibility-ready” seemed to be the best option and the tag will be added as an option to the theme tag filter once the auditing process is fully up & running.

    • _Redd 4:01 pm on July 9, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thank you, much appreciated. I see I was ignorant of the mechanics of theme “tagging” in WordPress.

      And, if the accessibility-ready tag will be added to theme tag filter once the auditing process is up and running, then that fact alone will make the accessible themes more visible.

      Best regards, as always!

    • Aaron Jorbin 4:05 pm on July 9, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Regarding appointing an accessibility lead, I’m going to strongly disagree with that. We are going to have much more success in the long run with WordPress if it’s not one person’s responsibility, but instead if everyone takes responsibility for it.

      I strongly support developing some common educational materials. Joe – I would love to see your slides from WCCHi converted into an accessible HTML slideshow and put up on github where others can contribute. We can then advocate that others use this base slideshow and present it at WordPress (and other) meetups around the world.

    • Joe Dolson 5:22 pm on July 9, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I actually think that an accessibility lead is necessary. Not so much because it becomes one person’s responsibility, but because it means there’s one person in charge of the decision process. There are aspects of accessibility that are decidedly subjective; having a lead helps to reach decisions more quickly.

      Also, while the long-term depends on having a broader understanding of accessibility within the development community, short-term will benefit tremendously from having a go-to person to communicate with.

      Posting those slides and sharing them for contribution is a good idea; I actually have a few different WordPress A11y slide sets, dependent on type of audience, and I could share them separately.

      • Aaron Jorbin 3:07 am on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The person in charge of the decision process is the release lead. If they aren’t an expert should they defer to someone else who is? Yes. Much like they generally do now.

        The problem I see with having an accessibility lead is that creates a situation where the entire team no longer feels responsible for accessibility. Every person that contributes to WordPress should own the accessibility of it.

        • _Redd 2:41 pm on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Hi Aaron, speaking for myself only, I agree with you that each contributor should “own” the accessibility of my websites, but I feel just as strongly that there are many like me, who don’t have the expertise to do much of the significant work that needs to be done. It is precisely because there are “lead” members in the current group, who give of themselves not only with coding expertise, but with feedback, that I feel encouraged to work at learning the code that makes WordPress accessible. It would be too overwhelming for me otherwise.

          For me, an accessibility lead would provide the “backup” needed by beginner-level developers such as myself to enable contributions to the larger (and great) picture that is WordPress–and would directly facilitate growing the group with active members.

        • Joe Dolson 7:09 pm on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Alternatively, not having a lead means that no one person feels specifically responsible for finding an answer to a question; a lead would simply mean a point person.

          I feel that for a release, there should be a single point of contact, so that there’s a clear chain of communication during that release cycle.

    • esmi 6:01 pm on July 9, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I actually think that an accessibility lead is necessary.

      I agree with Joe but from a different perspective. I think each project/development needs one person who looks at all phases from an accessibility perspective during development. Otherwise, it’s all too easy for potential issues to get lost in the excitement of coding a new feature. I agree 100% that accessibility is everyone’s responsibility but, from a management pov, I think having one person keeping their eye on this particular ball would be tremendously beneficial.

    • After Gadget 10:13 pm on July 9, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I really like what was said in the original post, and I’ve also learned a lot from the comments. For example, I did knows some themes were tagged as being more accessible than others. If there were a way to search for themes by accessibility I would have done that in the past and will probably do that in the future.

      One question I have, and I’m not sure if this is the appropriate place for it, and where it says about getting more people involved in that make WordPress accessible group. I tend not to be very involved because I’m not a developer. I don’t know about writing code, etc. I’m just a user so I’m often unsure what I can really contribute. I do have an idea of something that would make WordPress more usable for me as a blogger who uses Dragon, but I’m not sure where I should post that idea.

      Anyway, I’m really grateful that this group exists and that so much skill and care goes into making WordPress accessible. It really makes a huge difference. Using Blogger is a nightmare in comparison to WordPress in terms of access, both as a blogger with disabilities and as somebody who wants my blogs to be accessible to others with disabilities.

      One of the things I like best about what was suggested above is to have more obvious access tags and info/links on every WordPress site because it really feels welcoming and inclusive as the user was not as tech savvy as most of you are (all of you are?) And I think it encourages other people to think about access when it’s just included everywhere as a normal thing that you might want to be searching for.

      • Graham Armfield 7:06 pm on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hi @AfterGadget. Just wanted to underline what esmi and _Redd wrote. This group is for anyone who would like to see the accessibility of WordPress improve. And if you have any ideas for improvement we’d love to hear them. I’m especially interested to hear about your experiences with Dragon and WordPress – I think it’s an area that hasn’t received enough attention yet.

    • esmi 10:37 am on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I don’t know about writing code, etc. I’m just a user

      That doesn’t matter. We’d love you to join. The whole point point of this group is that it isn’t just for coders. It’s for users as well. That way, if we pool our resources, we have the skills & experience to recognise potential problems, develop solutions and get them into WordPress core. As an experienced Dragon user, your input would be invaluable.

      • After Gadget 2:21 pm on July 18, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I forgot to click “follow” so I could see the responses to my posts until now.

        I use Dragon for everything,including mousing. One of the things that is hardest to do when blogging with Dragon is formatting, such as block quotes, links, centering, inserting images, etc. One of the great things about WordPress for this is that there are keyboard shortcuts for most of those commands, so that I don’t have to click on icon to do them.

        However, to find out what they are I have to hover my mouse over the icon to learn that in the future I use alt shift A for making something into a link. There are two problems with this. One is that hovering a mouse over something is one of the hardest things to do with Dragon, and the other is that part of my disability is severe memory impairment so it’s hard for me to remember which things the keyboard command uses A or U or S, etc.

        So it would be really helpful to have those commands written out somewhere — either on the icons themselves or on some menu that could be visible in the same area as the text box, or ideally both.

        Because what I am doing now is needing to use my touchpad to hover over the thing first find out what the keyboard shortcut is— which is really hard on my wrists — and then write it down on a piece of paper that I can tape to my monitor (writing by hand is also problematic for me). And it will be difficult to get all of those formatting commands onto one small legible piece of paper.

        Maybe these are already written out somewhere and I just need to find them. I know blind users who use screen readers don’t use a mouse to click on icons necessarily, but I am guessing that the text reader reads the alt tag that tells the keyboard shortcut?

        I also am not sure if there is a keyboard shortcut for inserting media. Or for the various steps of inserting media. My memory is that including pictures has been harder for me since I’ve lost most use of my hands, but I can’t remember the specifics. Maybe some of you know what I’m talking about.

        I hope this is helpful and that this is the right place to post this.

    • _Redd 11:21 am on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      @After Gadget Your input is more valuable than you can even believe.

      I am NOT a programmer by any stretch of the imagination, but there are many simple things I can do to increase website accessibility. When I try to improve websites accessibility, I am stuck with the horrible option of either writing it on sheer faith that what I am doing is right, or clumsily and inexpertly trying to use assistive technology to test it. I’m not qualified to use that technology, because I am fully sighted and have full use of my hands. I really need the expertise of those who are real and true experts in the use of assistive technology for real and true feedback as to whether the code “works”. We need you, and we need your expertese.

    • David A. Kennedy 2:29 am on July 11, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      @Graham: Huge thanks for putting this together! There’s a ton of great stuff here.

      @After Gadget: Your feedback and involvement is essential! We developers need you to help ensure we do it right, and continue to get better! :)

      Regarding the team lead idea: I think a team lead, especially for each release, is vital. I agree with Aaron (and all of you) that accessibility is everyone’s responsibility, but I think a team lead would help keep communication tight. Yes, accessibility challenges center on code more often than not, but it’s also a communication issue many times. An accessibility challenge has to be explained effectively along with potential solutions and the benefits and drawbacks of each. I see the team lead not so much as being responsible for accessibility, but as the bridge between us and the developers and designers. So much of getting to good accessibility solutions is about trust between the accessibility advocates and the rest of the team. Perhaps rotating this slot would help too? A team approach might strike we balance we need.

      Regarding the accessibility statement: I would love to see this. In addition to the normal these are our standards, this is our process and here’s what to do if you have a problem, I would like to also see some “heart” put into it. That’s difficult to explain here, but I see a big opportunity to for the statement to serve as an entry point for people who know nothing about accessibility to learn something. I think it has to have some passion to it, tracing back to how the web’s initial vision was something that everyone could use easily. WordPress has a chance to reach a lot of people in this way because it’s so widely used!

      Regarding the coding and style guidelines/providing resources: I think creating documentation and resources that talks about how certain areas impact accessibility would be great. For example, if we’re developing theme resources, we might talk about how removing the underline on links effects things, etc. Again, I have some resources that might help, and I plan to do a blog series about the creation of Accessible Zen where I highlight some of this stuff. Happy to use that as a testing ground for some of this.

      Regarding education: this is the key. I think we have to really reach the designers and content creators. They are the front lines of accessibility. Yes, the code is vital, but if I’ve been handed a design with little or no thought given to accessibility, we’re in trouble. Similarly, if I have a site that has content in it that has challenge after challenge, we have a long road ahead of us.

      Those are my basic thoughts. Sorry for the long comment. :) Also, I would be happy to and super excited to help with any of this. :)

    • _Redd 9:54 pm on July 11, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      @David A. Kennedy AWESOME comments….I think we speak for all of us when I say that WE are happy and super excited that you’re here! :-) Please join us at our IRC meetings on Wednesdays, if you can, as well as continue to offer any more insights you may have on this blog!

      • David A. Kennedy 12:03 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks, _Redd! I keep meaning to attend the IRC meetings, but always forget. I’ll have to set a reminder. :) I definitely plan to continue to help out wherever I can.

    • _Redd 1:30 pm on July 16, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      What’s the possibility of setting aside a special web page–or some other common online location–so that developers who need their code tested can put up the test sites in a central location, and those with the expertise to test the code can sign up for real-world testing?

      Something similar to the Khan academy’s page for volunteers, in which lessons that need to be close-captioned or translated are available for volunteers to do so?

      It would allow people who do not code a way to contribute–testing WordPress accessibility and giving the feedback that is so badly needed.

    • _Redd 4:57 pm on July 16, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m embarrassed to say I wasn’t thinking deeply enough to recommend it for specifically themes, plugins, or core.

      That said, as someone working on a free, accessible theme, I (selfishly) think that a place to test accessibility for themes would probably be a great place to start. Much of our discussion right now is centered on creating accessible themes, so doing so would help us gain some traction in that regard.

      I think core has the trac system anyhow. That’s intimidating to a lot of people. Having a more benign interface for themes would give non-coders a place to contribute. Lessons learned from the “crowd-sourced” testing could benefit everyone. We wouldn’t have to keep re-inventing the wheel every time an accessibility problem is solved.

      And, if a solution works, then perhaps one of the more expert people in the group could take the solution to trac, for consideration of implementation into core.

    • esmi 7:22 pm on July 16, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      As themes and plugins are not “core”, they may not be suited for a Trac-like system anyway. From a purely personal perspective, I think it ultimately has to be down to the developers of these “3rd party add-ons” to take responsibility for a11y levels & issues in their own work. There’s only so much that WPORG can offer in the way of resources.

      Speaking from a theme developer perspective (as that’s the area that I have the most experience in and where the most centrally coordinated a11y outreach may be coming from), theme developers need to use their standard tools along with the Theme Unit Test data to check a11y levels. Longer term they’ll have the option of submitting their theme for an a11y audit as part of a WPORG theme submission – which should (hopefully) give them some valuable feedback. There’s also the theme reviewers mailing list for additional support – although if a11y-specific questions create too much traffic, there might be room later on to establish a better support resource,. Ideally that would be here.

      Does that help at all?

      • _Redd 1:44 pm on July 18, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        In light of last night’s meeting, what do you think of the idea of asking for non-coding volunteers, who use screen readers or other assistive technology, to test the survey forms for us?

    • _Redd 7:38 pm on July 16, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That does help–and again, thank you.

  • Graham Armfield 10:31 am on April 4, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    Accessibility IRC Chat – 3rd April 2013 

    A few of us took part in the IRC chat yesterday (see transcript here). Not surprisingly the main subject was the Add Media Panel accessibility, and the format of the chat turned into a live screen reader test on the functionality performed by @_Redd and @arush (and myself).

    @lessbloat had kindly had a go at implementing my quick and dirty pragmatic ARIA solution – for which we are truly grateful. Once we’d got access to an environment where the changes were in effect we could see that vast improvements had been made to the accessibility.

    I’ll save the detail to the blog post about Add Media Panel but to summarise:

    • Keyboard-only users can now tab through the items in the media list and select/deselect using Enter key
    • Screen reader users were getting some useful information but possibly only the newest versions can fully use this functionality.
    • Voice recognition users can at least use the tab commands to move around the list and select them.

    The key decision now is whether the functionality is useful and solid enough to include in 3.6. A couple of extra enhancements would make the solution better for screen reader users – once again see previous post.

    My vote would be to run with it if we can get the small further enhancements. We can hopefully address the rest of the accessibility issues within 3.7.  But what do you think?

     
    • _Redd 11:39 am on April 4, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      RUN WITH IT! Enhancements are for plugins!!!

    • Joe Dolson 3:23 pm on April 4, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is great Graham. I’d agree with _Redd – this sounds like a great improvement. I don’t see any reason to wait for perfection; this is an important step forward.

    • _Redd 2:29 pm on April 5, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I have the 3.6 beta up, and, as one who is ignorant of screen readers, I can at least say that my version of NVDA announces itself nicely in the Add Media area. Thank you, Graham and lessbloat, this is a jaw-dropping leap forward! :-)

  • Graham Armfield 12:37 pm on March 28, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

    Add Media Panel and WordPress 3.6 – A Simple Solution? 

    The beta version of WordPress 3.6 is very close now and the chances of significant extra functionality being included must be slim. But, the Add Media Panel introduced in 3.5 is still inaccessible and the trac tickets raised on this are still untouched.

    This is a real problem as the Add Media Panel is such a key piece of functionality.

    However, from our IRC chat yesterday the germs of a simple solution may have emerged – a solution that could maybe make the functionality accessible to keyboard and screen reader users. We just need someone to give it a try.

    (More …)

     
    • _Redd 12:46 pm on March 28, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Just to THANK you for the amazing work that went into this…..the path you’ve outlined here gives us a real way to pursue this, and to help out. More to come, but again, thank you!

    • Joe Dolson 3:02 pm on March 28, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is a great suggestion — and should be very simple to tackle.

      Do you think that the img should also use the aria-labeledby attribute to associate the label? I haven’t tested this, but I’m not sure offhand what behavior is exhibited by a screen reader in associating a label with a non-form field by ID.

      • GrahamArmfield 9:55 pm on March 28, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I had thought about that Joe and it may be a better solution. The code I propose was based on an example within that Mozilla site, but the working example they link to did it using a different technique.

        One of the things I was keen to avoid was ‘double voicing’ by screen readers that I know can be annoying – hence the blank alt attribute too.

        I guess the key thing is to find someone who can prototype this like @lessbloat did with the Custom Menu solution. We can then test it with various AT.

    • Tony Scott 9:16 pm on March 30, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great work Graham – many thanks!

    • GrahamArmfield 1:31 am on April 3, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      There has been some action on this issue. See the discussion and revised proposal on trac #23560.

      • _Redd 3:02 pm on April 3, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Graham, what you and lessbloat have done on ticket #23560 is nothing short of amazing, absolutely amazing.

        Do I understand that there’s a possibility this can go into 3.6?

        Are you going to be able to make it to the IRC chat today?

        • Graham Armfield 3:10 pm on April 3, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I’m really hoping we can get this into 3.6 with @lessbloat‘s help. It doesn’t address all the potential accessibility issues but at least it’s going to be a lot more accessible than it is now.

          Yes, I’m intending to be in IRC chat later.

          • _Redd 3:25 pm on April 3, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            When I last saw the ticket, you still hadn’t been able to have one to test. I can’t “see” the ticket now, so I don’t know if you’ve been able to test. As a person who is really, really stupid to this, I tried to incorporate his diffs into my 3.6 alpha test site….would you like to get into it to look around?

            I don’t know enough about screenreaders to even approach this…

            No promises that I did anything right, but due to the time crunch, I’m offering it to you for screenreader evaluation….

            Test Site

          • _Redd 3:26 pm on April 3, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Looks like I set up the hyperlink wrong

            http://red-hound.com/test/addmedia/

            Let me know if you want to get in there, I know EVERYONE is short on time….

            • Graham Armfield 3:32 pm on April 3, 2013 Permalink

              That would be superb if you could let me have access to the site. Please email me the logon details – graham.armfield@coolfields.co.uk and I’ll give it a go.

              One day I’ll have to see if I can get a suitable environment together but it’s a little daunting from a standing start.

            • _Redd 3:33 pm on April 3, 2013 Permalink

              Coming your way, standby

            • _Redd 3:42 pm on April 3, 2013 Permalink

              You should have an email from me….when I tried to create you as a user and give you a password, it said the name was reserved….I think it is waiting for your confirmation email….let me know how it goes,

            • Graham Armfield 4:14 pm on April 3, 2013 Permalink

              OK I’m in. Will test shortly.

            • _Redd 7:44 pm on April 3, 2013 Permalink

              Hi Graham, I’ve redone the media-views.js file, and it is yours to test. I sent you email with a file called “modified-media-views.js” so you can double check it if you like. Not sure if your spam folder will kick it back.

              I’m watching for your response with baited breath!

            • _Redd 7:56 pm on April 3, 2013 Permalink

              OK, thank you Graham, at least, know that you have a server to play with. We’ll work it out. I’ll see you on the IRC chat.

      • Graham Armfield 4:04 pm on April 4, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        @lessbloat has made some further changes after our testing yesterday which have further contributed to the accessibility.

        It is now possible to select/deselct with the space bar as well as the Enter key. This should enable (hopefully) all screen reader users to select the items as if they were checkboxes – without having to rely on the ‘pass-through’ keystrokes.

        Also, he has improved the visibility of keyboard focus on the media files so that anyone using keyboard, or voice recognition users emulating tabbing will be easily able to see where they are.

        Within the trac ticket #23560 I have asked him to make one further change – that is to place the image title within the aria-label attribute rather than the file name. That way, if you’ve given the file a meaningful title or alternate text when the file was first uploaded it will be presented to the screen reader.

        So far, comments received have indicated in favour of getting these changes included within 3.6. I’m not sure how this is achieved – is it automatic, or is there a further process that needs to occur.

        If anyone has objections then now is the time to express them I guess.

    • _Redd 5:25 pm on April 4, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Only writing here to say we can’t thank the two of you (lessbloat and yourself) enough. This is mind-blowing! What a huge accomplishment!

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