Core Accessibility Updates

With WordPress 3.5 due out in the next few weeks, has there been any work done to increase coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (

The answer is an overwhelming “Yes!”

Since WordPress 3.4, 35 separate accessibility TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub. tickets have been raised — many since July 2012 — and more than half have already been resolved in WordPress 3.5. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 18 tickets already resolved and implemented in WordPress 3.5.
  • 1 ticket being worked on for WordPress 3.5
  • 7 tickets awaiting review
  • 9 tickets slated for a future version of WordPress

Much of this flurry of activity followed Graham Armfield’s WordPress and Web Accessibility presentation at WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. UK earlier this year. And Graham has published an overview of the accessibility changes since then.

However, as Graham points out, we still need people to report issues as, and when, they find them if we want this level of activity to be maintained. You can, of course, raise your own Trac tickets but if that is too difficult (or just too plain intimidating) for you, you can raise issues here for discussion and we will raise a ticket if necessary.

Testers are, also, always needed to ensure that submitted patches do actually fix a problem and do so without raising another barrier elsewhere. The larger the testing pool – both in terms of users and the assistive technologyAssistive technology Assistive technology is an umbrella term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. Assistive technology promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to, or changing methods of interacting with, the technology needed to accomplish such tasks. used — the better. So if you do use any assistive technology and would like to help, please let us know.