Team meeting July 2, 2018


Meeting time: Monday 15:00 UTC
Transcript in Slack

The Paciello Group sponsors a JAWS license

During WordCamp Europe we discussed the use of different screen readers to test Gutenberg. This week the Paciello Group (aka TPG) decided to help and sponsor a 90 days license of the screen reader JAWS for Andrea Fercia. Now he can use also JAWS to test Gutenberg functionality and issues. Thanks Adrian Roselli, for your help to make this possible.

Gutenberg manual for assistive technology (AT)

We agreed earlier that there needs to be manual for AT users of Gutenberg. The best place for this will be the new Claire Brotherton (@abrightclearweb) volunteered to start and project lead this. Everyone with AT expertise can join in and help. We will start creating content in Google docs first.

Content bug scrub every week

The bug scrub is held every week on Mondays at 14:00 UTC, just before the team meeting. We agreed on still focusing first on the Gutenberg issues and after that, if there is still time on trac tickets.

Open Floor

Andrea had some good news on Gutenberg

  • All the “popovers” in Gutenberg (panels or menus that open like sort of a modal) have now tabbing constrained within the popover. It would be great to test with keyboard and see if everything is OK and works better. Related Issue: Constrain tabbing within popovers and similar components
  • Thanks to Jorge Costa there’s now a pending PR to improve the Publishing flow. Looks very promising to Andrea. It also makes the sidebar render one at a time, so also normal keyboard navigation should be greatly improved.
    Some testing would be great.
  • The Ctrl + backtick there’s now a proposal to use also the F6 key, as that what Slack added for the same functionality. Just a proposal for now, not implemented yet but there is consensus.

And a question: please have a look at Indent list keyboard shortcuts inconsistencies.
Some people would like to have the Tab key used for indentation, for example in the List block.
Instead, we’re trying to use a different shortcut. There are some problems though.
Some research on what other applications do, for example Google docs, LIbreOffice, etc. would be nice. Also any comment on the issue is welcome.

Team meeting June 25, 2018


Meeting time: Monday 15:00 UTC
Transcript in Slack

Recap WordCamp Europe contributor day

There was a good collaboration with the Gutenteam and 3 issues were discussed or even solved (read the full recap).
It’s a good set up for other WordCamp, it’s also good to have two lists: a Gutenlist and a WPlist.

ATAG statement

We need to have an ATAG statement for the WordPress project. @joedolson will work on that.

WCAG 2.1

After a short discussion we leave the accessibility statement of WordPress as is (Conform to WCAG 2.0) for now. We will start to inform people what WCAG 2.1 is and what is useful to implement, create awareness first. @rianrietveld will write a blogpost.

Open floor

Rachel Cherry (@bamadesigner) dropped the idea of having a combined WPCampus and a WP Accessibility partner event in 2019. Sharing resources and venue. We all think it’s a great idea to explore further and help.


  • Rian: write a post about WCAG 2.1
  • Joe: write an ATAG statement


Overview of the Gutenberg accessibility merge proposal issues

At this moment there are 13 issues open with the label Merge Proposal: Accessibility

These are the most complex issues with high priority. That doesn’t mean that the other 70 open issues are trivial, they also need to be addressed to make Gutenberg work for everyone.

If you want to help out, please select one of the “Issues that need work, review, feedback, discussion”. Andrea Fercia (@afercia) is the lead for the Gutenberg accessibility issues, contact him in GitHub with the issues if you need more information.

Issues that have an owner and are actively worked on:

Issues that need work, review, feedback, discussion:

Issues to do just before merge or after the feature freeze:

Contributor day at WordCamp Europe 2018

The accessibility tables where divided in two parts as always:

  • people who wanted help understanding a11y or needed a review of their work
  • accessibility experts that wanted to help out

But now we also had developers from the Gutenberg and Yoast team who helped with the list of GitHub issues that still needs work.

Gutenberg work

Andrea Fercia led the Gutenberg work.

Meetings with other teams

Sami Keijonen and Rian Rietveld talked to the marketing team about how to promote/ integrate our handbook best practice section in the other teams documentation.


  • Rian did a super quick review of Jetpack and showed Enej Bajgoric how to use some test tools like aXe.
  • Adrian Roselli reviewed and helped improve the Minimal Share Buttons with Milen Petrinski-Gonzo

Thanks all of you so much for joining the 2 a11y tables.

Change in the WP accessibility team meetings time/day

Hey all,

We are changing the day for the bug scrub and team meeting back to the Mondays.

The reason is that Rian has her weekly day off on Wednesday and we didn’t see an increase of attendees when we changed from the Monday to the Wednesday.

So the new day will be Monday.


  • bug scrub at 14 UTC
  • team meeting at 15 UTC

Starting Monday June 25th.

See you then!


List of work for the WCEU’18 contributor day

Work to be done on Gutenberg and core at the WordCamp Europe contributor day in Belgrade.
I tried to make a mix of multiple teams discussion, a11y testing and stuff to fix.


Gutenberg issues that absolutely need to be addressed before the merge proposal are labeled Merge Proposal: Accessibility and High Priority.

Has patch, needs review/merge

Needs an a11y expert

Overall, check the issues, starting with the old ones, if they still apply to the lastes version of Gutenberg. Maybe some issues are solved automatically by the changed codebase.

Screen reader issues:

Dragon Naturally sSpeaking issues:

JAWS issues:

Needs a Gutenberg / React developer

Needs Core Feedback

Needs Design Feedback

Needs Doc team feedback

Issues to be closed?


WordPress core


This week in WordPress Accessibility, May 23th, 2018

Weekly Bug scrub

Trac tickets

#44007: Making a child theme link should open in new tab
Decided to close the issue as we are working on removing the target=”_blank” option for the WP Admin for cases like this (see the WPA11y handbook: The link opens in a window or tab).

#44035: Admin flyout submenu does not open on mouseover when changing device width in browser
Decided to remove the accessibility focus; this is an overall issue, not specifically a11y.

#44073: Add functionality to search plugin with double quoted keyword
Decided to remove the accessibility focus, as not related to web content accessibility issues.

Gutenberg issues

Gutenberg 1311 react-datepicker is not accessible

The current date picker is not (keyboard) accessible. We need a good alternative.

The most robust solution would be:

  • 3 separate input fields of type `text` with a placeholder to hint about the expected format [mm] [dd] [yyyy]. It seems like some AT like Dragon doesn’t handle the HTML5 type=date very well. This could do with more user testing
  • client validation
  • clicking on the fields also opens a datepicker, at that point Andrea doesn’t mind about the datepicker accessibility since there are standard input fields

Gutenberg 469 Expandable UI sections accessibility
The point is:

  • either the expanded panel immediately follows the toggle that expanded it
  • or focus should be managed properly

Gutenberg 6468 WritingFlow should exclude standard input fields
WritingFlow is the Gutenberg feature that allows to go through all blocks using the arrow keys
It’s intended to emulate the native behavior in a textarea, as all the blocks were part of a unique textarea (and under the hoods, they are)
So when you’re in a block and press the Down arrow key, you navigate through the block text content and then to the following block. Also Left / Right arrows are used for WritingFlow. However When focus is within an input field, that becomes very confusing.

We proposed to add Milestone 5.00 to this issue, as this seems pretty essential for keyboard users.

Weekly team meeting

The work on the Handbook Best Practices is on hold, because we @samikeijonen en @rianrietveld need time to prepare for their workshop a11y testing at WordCamp Europe.

The pair programming plan for the WordCamp Europe contributor day goes well, we have a11y experts and Gutenberg devs that want to participate. Hopefully we can get some more people joining the GutenA11y table then.

@afercia asked for a11y testing of the new block inserter for Gutenberg. See 6636 Try inserter with collapsable panels. It still needs some further simplification, like removing some ARIA stuff. This functionality is installed on our test server ( Rian will ask some people to test, if you need access give her a ping on Slack.

@abrightclearweb is going to lead the accessibility table in Glasgow.



  • Test the new Gutenberg block inserter: everyone
  • Write about what WCAG 2.1 means for the WordPress project: Rian (planned for end of May)
  • Write ATAG statement: Joe Dolson


Pair programming on the contributors day

The accessibility team plans to organise pair programming for Gutenberg on the WordCamp Europe contributor day, pairing up accessibility experts and Gutenberg developers.

There are still 11 issues open for the Merge Proposal: Accessibility. And they need to get fixed soon.

For a detailed list of what needs to be done for accessibility, please read the List of work for the WCEU’18 contributor day.

The a11y team doesn’t have enough expertise to write some of the pull requests for the Gutenberg milestone issues and most Gutenberg developers have not enough expertise on web accessibility. So pairing them up at the contributor day seems like the best solution to get work done quickly.

Are you a developer that knows her/his way around the Gutenberg code and are you going to WordCamp Europe in Belgrade? Please help us out! Give @rianrietveld a ping in WordPress Slack and we will add you to the Gutena11y table.

There will be free stroopwafels.

This week in WordPress Accessibility, May 9th, 2018

Gutenberg Bug scrub

We discussed issues marked for the Gutenberg merge proposal milestone accessibility.

Publishing Flow accessibility:
The conclusion of the discussion with this ticket is: we need to work with the current design and get that working for keyboard. We should probably start trying to fix keyboard interaction, tab order, focus management, etc. Needs a developer.

Link boundaries don’t work with Safari 11.0.1 when using VoiceOver:
Andrea tested the issue again and closed it: current Safari stable is 11.1 (which was Safari Technology Preview at the time this issue was created) so now boundaries work when using VoiceOver.

Consider a mechanism to customize shortcuts, e.g. Ctrl + backtick:
There is a good discussion with the issues but no PR or actual progress so far.
Still marked for merge proposal, because without this some features are not available for all users. Needs a developer.

Components and features should be logically placed within the main regions:
From a coding perspective, it’s mainly about the publishing flow.
Once that is fixed, it should be made clear in the Gutenberg developers documentation that any UI must live inside the landmark regions, with the exception of modals and the like, since they’re typically injected before the closing <body>.

Reminder: audit all the aria-labels:
@grahamarmfield is making a list of all current aria-labels.
It will be quite a job to create clear labels for all items.

Switches should always show On/Off label:
This is a design decision that conflicts with accessibility. It’s hard to create consensus over this.
Our question: what is the value of these switches compared to native checkboxes, besides being pretty. Native checkboxes are universal, simple, clear and very accessible.

Team meeting


Going steady. We just need people to read the pages in the section Best Practices. For readability, completeness and accuracy. Volunteers are very welcome


About the Gutenberg Assistive Technology manual: Rian talked with the docs team and the best place for a Gutenberg AT manual will be the new HelpHub. We now have access to write content there. Maybe (in the far far future ) we can convert it into an overall AT manual for the Admin.

The Gutenberg “Inserter” is probably going to change, there’s one more iteration and a pending PR that changes it significantly. In a first look it’s an improvement, accessibility wise.

Andrea explored the re-ordering of elements surrounding the blocks and this proposal by @melchoyce could help a11y: Display block tools underneath the block, instead of to the sides.

WordCamp Europe

We plan to organise a “Pair/Peer programming with a Subject Matter Expert and Dev” for the WCEU contributor day.

The a11y team has not enough expertise to write a pull request for some of the milestone issues and the Gutenberg developers have enough expertise on web accessibility. So pairing them up at the contributor day seems like the best solution to get work done quickly. We will write a dedicated blog post about it and make some noise to recruit developers.


  • Write ATAG statement: Joe Dolson
  • Write about what WCAG 2.1 means for the WordPress project: Rian (planned for end of May)
  • Organise Gutenberg Pair/Peer programming for WCEU contributor day: Rian (this and next week)

And further…

May 17th is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#DAAG) with many events you can attend.

For those of you who have not subscribed yet: A11y Weekly is a excellent newsletter by @davidakennedy with news and resources on Web Accessibility.


This week in WordPress Accessibility, May 4th, 2018

Bug scrub

We discussed issues marked for the Gutenberg merge proposal milestone:

Simplify and streamline keyboard navigation through blocks:
First: what if the block toolbar had only one tab stop and navigating through its controls would be possible with the arrow keys? Would users be able to get it?
Interaction modal: ARIA toolbar example
Conclusion: we are going to try this and let it test by some advanced keyboard / screen reader / VIM users

Second: the tab order
A good tab order would be for example: insert block, then editable area and then the rest. But should the visual order meet match DOM order? @afercia will try to investigate on the first two things in the next days

Constrain tabbing within popovers and similar components:
Alexander Botteram is working on a modal component that introduces a re-usable “constrain tabbing” feature.

Publishing Flow accessibility:
Nic Bertino did research on this and created a design proposal, that needs following up by the design and develop team.

Weekly meeting


We added new pages added about Test for web accessibility to the handbook’s Best Practices chapter. If there are people who want to review what is published, please do.

Sami Keijonen tweeted posts from the handbook in a series on Twitter. Nobody uses Facebook in the team, so we won’t start a Facebook campagne.


Summarised: Minor fixes went in, the bigger issues are still to solve.

We need to write a manual for AT users. We need people who are familiar with Gutenberg to be involved in writing the manual for AT users of Gutenberg. We can start outlining the processes and AT combinations to be documented. Rian will investigate what the best place is to publish this manual. Rian and Sami want to help writing.

We will dedicate our weekly bugscrub now on Gutenberg for now

We need to contact someone from Dragon about issue raised by Eric Wright: Can’t add a post title using speech recognition software.

Open Floor

Nicolas Steenhout has a podcast: A11y Rules. He’d love to speak to people that are NEW to accessibility, either working full time in it, or developers that are exploring #a11y.

So, if you think that’s you, please contact him, always nice to hear new voices


  • Write ATAG statement: Joe Dolson
  • Write about what WCAG 2.1 means for the WordPress project: Rian
  • Find the best place for the Gutenberg AT handbook: Rian