Accessibility Team Update: August 27, 2014

Weekly Testing Meeting

For the last two weeks we’ve been trying something new, a weekly accessibility testing meeting, 17:00 – 19:30 UTC. We meet in the wordpress-ui IRC channel to share our tests. If you want to join in or just see what we are doing just show up in the IRC channel. Read the logs for August 18 and August 25 to get an idea of what we are doing.

#accessibility, #team-reps, #weekly-meetings

WordPress 4.0 Release Candidate Testing

The first release candidate for WordPress 4.0 is out. If you’re interested in testing for accessibility, here’s what to focus on:

New features in 4.0

  1. Oembed
  2. Insert from URL
  3. Plugin installation
  4. Editor scrolling
  5. Media Library Grid
  6. Customize Panels

Regressions from 3.9

We don’t have a definitive list for this, but keep an eye out for anything that’s not working that you know worked in the last version.

If you run into bugs, follow the instructions from the announcement post:

Think you’ve found a bug? Please post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. If any known issues come up, you’ll be able to find them here.

To test WordPress 4.0 RC1, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the release candidate here (zip). If you’d like to learn more about what’s new in WordPress 4.0, visit the awesome About screen in your dashboard ( → About in the toolbar).

Things to Watch

We want to keep things simple at this point. Look for any big blockers, like:

  • keyboard traps
  • confusing or non-existent tab order
  • content that can’t be accessed via keyboard
  • content that can’t be accessed via screen reader


Weekly accessibility test session on Monday

Last couple of weeks members of the MWA team organized joint test sessions on Skype and IRC #wordpress-ui. We had a mixed team of users and coders, all with different experience with assistive technology (AT).

We installed the trunk version of WordPress on a server everyone could access and discussed tickets, tested the accessibility of patches and of core functionality.

The combination Skype (voice) and IRC worked well. On Skype we could quickly discuss what to test and what the problems where and on the IRC developers could join in. So this turned out to be a productive way of working.

In the first session patches for ticket #28823 Plugin details screen is not given focus where tested. @ocean90 joined the conversation discussing a solution with @bramd. @ocean90 came up with a new patch. We tested that on different browsers and AT.  The patch worked. @ocean90 committed the patch and closed the ticket.

During the second session we tested patches for the Add Media and Media Library functionality with screen readers and keyboard only. We were puzzled by the navigation with a keyboard in a logical way trough all the options. For example, how do you select two images using only a keyboard.  The relevant patch for ticket #29326 Improve accessibility of edit-selection mode, was tested and discussed with @adamsilverstein.
As a result of this discussion @bramd opened a new ticket #29371 Media Library: Focus keeps jumping to URL field.

We plan to continue these accessibility test sessions every Monday from 17:00 – 19:30 UTC  in IRC #wordpress-ui. Anyone wanting to join in on IRC and Skype is very welcome. Just contact @rianrietveld or @arush on Mondays in IRC.