a11y update week 37 2016

Summary meeting WPa11y team, September 2016


Work is in progress by @trishasalas, @iamjolly and @rachievee.

Theme review

There are now 112 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). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility)-ready themes in the repository. 80+ Waiting for a review, still a long waiting list. More help with reviewing is most welcome. @iamjolly will help this week and also Caroline Nymark had been doing reviews.

@joedolson made a minor tweak to the guidelines last week at @afercia‘s request: adding type=button to the best practice example for creating action buttons in themes.

<button class=”menu-toggle” type=”button”>Menu</button>

Twenty Seventeen

The new theme Twenty Seventeen is available at GitHub:
@davidakennedy will monitor the work and give the team a pingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” when it’s ready for an accessibility review.


There is some progress in the Select2 accessibility issues Andrea posted on GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/.

Kevin Brown :

In the next couple of weeks, we plan to work with others to get Select2 to be accessible under the most basic use case: a flat dropdown that is searchable. Since that appears to be the use case that most screen readers support.


#34635: WordPress image’s title is not alt
We discussed in length a solution to prevent nonsense for an alt attribute and to be able to set an empty alt=””. @joemcgill is going to work on a patch.

Open floor

@davidakennedy: I’m trying to research for Twenty Seventeen is whether it’s possible/advisable to remove the explicit ARIA roles in Twenty Seventeen. Like, role="banner".
In the team we have very different views on this. We need to research this further (browser support/AT support/usage etc).

Bug scrub

#38023: Menus screen: simplify the Menu Settings controls.
The form layout for the menu settings is done with <dl>.
It would be great to use proper form elements instead (fieldset, legend). We have similar constructions on other pages, maybe find a consistent way to do them. Needs research, set to 4.7

#16206: Comment text not marked as required
and related
#37331: New site form has non-required fields that have to be filled in.
We’ll have a go at fixing these two for 4.7

#16413: Settings page needs HTMLHTML HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used in the development of web pages and websites. refactoring and UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing. improvements
This could get some traction if the Fields APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. gets into coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.; that would be a starting point for redoing these types of pages, so we wait for that (not in 4.7 yet, according to @sc0ttkclark).

#18801: Accessibility Enhancements to Settings AP
It’s basically the same issue as #16413.

#21414: Use the “Keyboard Shortcuts” checkbox in the user profile to turn on/off all custom shortcuts
Seems it’s in good hands at the moment.

#21583: Improve discoverability and visual design of Screen Options and Help Panels
It would be nice to get this into core, but it’s a lot of work and will take some releases.