Takeaways from Paris

So the community summit, the contributor day and WordCamp Europe happened in Paris. And this is what we learned from all the discussions we had during that warm week in June:

Education instead of taking over

The accessibility team must not try to do everything themselves. Like raise and solve all accessibility trac tickets themselves. What we should do is add to the tickets how they should be solved and let other developers do the patches (or ask them to do). Hopefully this will attract more developers to do accessibility tickets. That way the developers will learn instead of handover to us. Now the team is like a proxy, everything needs to go though us, slowing the process down. What we need to accomplish is that the developers solve the issues themselves, and we just help them if needed.

Handbook

The handbook must be replaced by a list of resources, good examples and test tools, with short explanations. We don’t need to write everything ourselves, but make list of links with a short intro per subject. Focus on education and point to good info. In other words: help and educate the developers instead of fixing ourselves.

Testing and research

We need to ask more a11y experts from outside the WordPress community to assist us with the testing and research. For this we can reach out to companies specialised in accessibility, ask them if they can sponsor time to do research on WP core and featured projects.

So this defines 3 tasks for the a11y team

  • Teach: Provide easy to use overview of resources for developers
  • Research: Test and research current and new functionality for accessibility
  • Help: Review and raise accessibility tickets and provide developers with info on how to solve the issues

This doesn’t mean we won’t be working on tickets and issues on GitHub, we want to move our team focus to research, education and support.