This week in WordPress Accessibility, December 18, 2017

Weekly meeting

Transcript meeting in Slack


Progress of the “best practices” in the handbook according to @samikeijonen : “It’s a bullet that’s moving fast in the right direction, I’m confident about it”.

Marketing handbook: we working with the marketing team to set up a plan.
Roadmap first release March 1. After that we can keep extending and modifying the content.


About Prevent frontend style getting in Gutenberg: According to Sami: It’s a bullet that’s moving fast in different directions. Lots of good discussions going on, there’s not a definite solution yet.

WCAG 2.1

Last week @rianrietveld has been to a Dutch WCAG 2.1 meeting. Wilco Fiers was there too, he’s in the team that writes this new guidelines. They discussed the new rules and we will continue to do so on January 12. After that last meeting Rian will do a write up of what the new guidelines mean for WordPress.

WCAG / ATAG statement

  • WCAG: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
  • ATAG:  Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (a subset of accessibility rules specifically for content creation)

We want to publish an article/articles addressing WCAG / ATAG and WordPress. To refer to, as we get questions about the policy WordPress follows and the current state of accessibility. We probably also need legal advice for this.
@joedolson will write the statement for ATAG , @rianrietveld for WCAG.

Next meetings

  • Bug scrub: 16:00 UTC, January 8, 2018
  • Team meeting: 17:00 UTC, January 8, 2018

Because of Christmas and New Years day we will skip 2 weeks.

Items on the To-do list

  • Research screen reader performance for code short codes like [ php ] or [ html ]
  • ATAG statement @joedolson
  • WCAG statement @rianrietveld

Accessibility news / good reads


This week in WordPress Accessibility, December 11, 2017

Weekly meeting

Transcript meeting in Slack


The writing continues steadily, we still hope to finish the best practices mid March.

In the meantime we need to set up a marketing plan for the handbook. @samikeijonen and @postphotos want to work in this, with the help of the Marketing team (@mcdwayne, @gidgey and @anafransilva).

Thoughts and ideas are in the Google doc: Marketing plan for accessibility handbook.
We will continue the discussions in the Slack channel #accessibility-docs.


The Gutenberg inserter has been tested at the contributors day at WCUS and by @abrightclearweb

The the Gutenberg toolbar roving tabindex is still on the to-do list.

Note from @afercia: The roving tabindex thing is implemented for now just on the Inserter “tabs”. The point is, consider to use the same technique for the toolbar too?
See Toolbar: consider to use a roving tabindex and standardize navigation · Issue #3383

It’s well explained in the ARIA Authoring Practices example. Worth noting there’s now an option to set the toolbar in different positions:

  • docked to the top
  • floating on top of each block

Further more we need urgent frontend testers/reviewers/devs for the issues Sami created om GitHub to prevent inline style going into the frontend code. There have been good conversation about inline styles in Proposal of removing inline styles · Issue #2862.

Items on the To-do list

  • Prevent frontend style getting in Gutenberg
  • Research screen reader performance for code short codes like [ php ] or [ html ] – action Sami, if he has time
  • Write up a summary of things that will change in WCAG 2.1 for core and design – action Rian, next week

Accessibility news / good reads


Amanda’s Thoughts On “Gutenberg and the WordPress of Tomorrow”

Good post by Amanda Rush (@arush), about the need for good documentation and manuals for Gutenberg users.

Thoughts On “Gutenberg and the WordPress of Tomorrow”


Contributor day at WordCamp US 2017

The accessibility table was divided in two parts as always:

  • people who wanted help understanding a11y and a review of their work
  • people who know a11y and wanted to help testing

Jackie D’Elia (@jdelia) and Katherine White (@katwhite) did a full day a11y review of Gutenberg. They created issues on GitHub and also wrote up extra comments with their opinion. Both ladies are accessibility experts, so that was super useful. All data was sent to Tammie Lister (@karmatosed).

Andrea Fercia (@afercia) worked all morning with Alex Stine (@alexstine), a 16 yr old blind developer that uses NVDA, who came with his father to help the team. Andrea set up SVN on Alex’ computer so he can create patches. He’s a really smart and talented young dev. He wants to write code and test for the team.

Andrea also worked on colour contrast issues in Gutenberg.

Rian explained how to test for accessibility to several devs and designers and reviewed their work. As on every contributor day she gave a 30 minute workshop on keyboard navigation. This time for about 20 people, so that was great. She had a discussion with meta team about the a11y issues of Rian will do a review of the pages later this and create a ticket on the meta trac with a list of issues that needs to be fixed.

Leo Postovoit (@postphotos) joined us, he wants to work on documentation, especially for the information about deaf and hard of hearing people. Leo also wants to help with marketing of the team and the handbook. He will join the team meetings in Slack.

This was a good contributors day. Leo wants to join the a11y team and has many ideas he wants to work on. It was a joy to see to Jacky and Katherine install Gutenberg via Git on your local install and test, no help needed, working hard. Alex traveled with his father all the way to Nashville to introduce himself and to help out. We now have 3 new awesome testers, this is so much appreciated.


This week in WordPress Accessibility, November 27, 2017

Weekly meeting

Transcript meeting in Slack


Should we  use <pre><code> or <pre> or shortcodes like [ php ] for displaying code examples? The shortcode adds a table, VoiceOver doesn’t announce this well and also jumps unexpectedly out of the code example.
Conclusion discussion: we need to do more research, also with other screen readers and see how they perform.

New articles:

  • Post about forms need a bit of text tweaking
  • Post about archive page needs some addition text with discussion


Two tests are still open:

  • Test the Gutenberg inserter
  • Test the Gutenberg toolbar roving tabindex

Pause meeting for the holidays

We will skip the meetings on December 25th and January 1st.

Items on the To-do list

  • Research screen reader performance for code short codes like [ php ] or [ html ]
  • Write up a summary of things that will change in WCAG 2.1 for designers and developers
  • Tests Gutenberg

VoiceOver on MacOS High Sierra

VoiceOver can finally read multi-language content. When it detects a different language, it switches to a synthesizer in that language.

Also new to VoiceOver is something equally new to iOS 11: image descriptions. VoiceOver (VO) has been speaking the main objects in pictures since last year, but that was only for photos you’d stored in a Photos library. Now, you can press vo-shift-l while VO is on a picture to get a description, if the current app supports the feature. This even includes text recognition, letting you hear what’s in an image, even if it’s a screenshot or meme. Time will tell just how well this works in practice, but it’s great to see such a powerful feature being introduced, even if the artificial intelligence behind it seems to need more tweaking.

Accessibility news / good reads


Screen reader user experience with Gutenberg

The last weeks we let the WPA11y test team try out Gutenberg.


Working with blocks takes some getting used to. I don’t like it when the editor takes over the way I work this way. Can I switch this off? I see now that there is a link in the list table: “Classic editor”. This should be easier to find.
I can imagine blocks will be useful in some cases. The future will tell.

While selecting and copying text in the blocks strange things happen. The cursor gets lost and I have to click the mouse to return into the text.

With the block settings the user can select colours for text and background. It would be useful to have the name visible on hover. This will be useful for colourblind people.

User of JAWS/IE: There is way to much going on and far too many menus to deal with. With the current version I can hit the f key 3 times and get to the Title, now it takes 3 times as much if I manage to land on it after trying to add something. I find it very difficult to accomplish anything because of the many menus and options. Please let the option for the “Classic editor” stay.

User of NVDA/FF56: Well I doodled with the editor, the best thing about it, well there isn’t, I guess the heading where the title should be is nice.
The rest, I was able to add a block of text, typing it up but the publish menu I couldn’t exactly navigate, I preferred the button as it was.

There are a lot of buttons a lot unlabeled. I found Gutenberg full of clutter, buttons and the like.

Wrapping this up

Blind screen reader users have a hard time navigating and figuring out how things work. That’s understandable, all users have that issue while they learn the new interface. But Gutenberg is a much worse user experience for them, lots more buttons to click and actions to take for the same task. A way to help them may be keeping the option for the classic editor.

I think we started too soon testing Gutenberg with the wpa11y test team. Most of them kind of broke down on Gutenberg and don’t want to take the energy to test anymore. Lesson learned for next time.

Thanks Geoff Collis, Wim Moons and Shaun Everiss for testing.


X-post: Recap of ticket scrub on November 21st

X-post from Recap of ticket scrub on November 21st

This week in WordPress Accessibility, November 20, 2017

Weekly meeting

Transcript meeting in Slack

The handbook

Things go well, we are adding new content every week on the handbook – best practices.
@mercime will help with the documentation, starting with forms.


There are improvements made to the keyboard navigation, specifically the inserter. This is still work in progress. The top toolbar has now arrow navigation too.
@samikeijonen requested a review for his pull requests on GitHub.

Test server

Nimbus hosting sponsors our team with a dedicated server, where we can install trunk and patches using SVN and Git. At the moment we do not use this server much.
The question is: do we still need it and and will we use it in the near future?

After a discussion we concluded: Yes we need it and we will use it more for testing in the future. The team requests test and Rian will do the installs, mail the testers and report the results.


Rian will write a post this week about what is new in WCAG 2.1 AA for the designers and developers.

One of the new requirements is a minimum size for the a link/button.
@afrecia added new a11y keyword target-size on Trac.

Accessibility news / good reads


This week in WordPress Accessibility, November 13, 2017

Transcript in Slack

Planning and focus for WP 5.0

  • Gutenberg, testing an fixing
  • Finishing the first version of the handbook
  • Media tickets (if there is time left)

The handbook

The content of what to do on a WP contributors day in the handbook has been updated.

The work on best practices is in progress. Maja Benke, Sami Keijonen, Rian Rietveld and Stefan Brechbühl are writing. Joe Dolson and William Patton are proof reading and reviewing. We have a deadline of mid January for all draft content but we already publish what is ready and reviewed.


We’ll test during contributor days. Andrea pointed out that he needs more help testing and fixing. There are still a lot of open issues. We discussed how to solve this, it’s hard to get more people involved.

As for the accessibility test team: most gave up on Gutenberg and there is hardly any useful response anymore. Maybe we started testing too soon. There was a discussion if and how we can use the test server we have on, without a conclusive outcome.

Open floor

The time of the meetings will be one hour later:

  • Bug scrub: 16:00 UTC
  • Team meeting: 17:00 UTC

Accessibility news


This week in WordPress Accessibility, October 24, 2017

Transcript in Slack

Please note: the times of our meetings have changed.


Because of work and holidays, the last month not much work was done on the handbook. But as from now we will pick up writing again. The goal still is to have the handbook finished mid March 2018 (with all the text ready for review around mid January).

Tickets/Issues for contributor days

We need a page to refer to on contributor days with a list of tickets and issues to work on. Preferable tickets without a long history of discussion. Like “good-first-bugs” or keyword related tickets or Gutenberg “Good first issue”. @afrecia provided a list and Rian will create the page.

Our focus for 5.0

For the WordPress 5.0 release we will focus on the accessibility of Gutenberg. There are still a lot of Gutenberg a11y tickets open and discussions to be held and testing to be done.

HTML5 landmarks

Marco Zehe published recently: Firefox 57 will be less chatty to screen readers in some situations. FireFox will treat HTML5 landmarks differently. This has implications for the changes just made in the Underscores theme. @samikeijonen is researching this.

Also Apple VoiceOver doesn’t announce the footer if no role="contentinfo" is added. This seems like a bug.

We will wait until FireFox 57 is officially out and will test this with FF/NVDA and Safari/Voiceover.

Good reads