Accessibility Team Meeting Notes: November 9, 2018

Meeting transcript on Slack

Current progress on GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. 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). (

At the time of the meeting, major issues with Publishing Flow were near merge and expected to land soon. Otherwise, minor fixes to labels are all that’s been implemented. The publishing flow fixes were the last of the accessibility issues previously listed in the Merge:Accessibility milestone (although Gutenberg was in fact merged prior to meeting these issues.)

@tofumatt indicated that he intends to work on identifying a next phase of high priority issues now that these are resolved.

Current progress on Gutenberg accessibility documentation

@abrightclearweb sent an update indicating that the accessibility documentation for Gutenberg is mostly finished, but needs editing. 

Feedback about the information message for 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. users (#45270)

The accessibility team greatly desires a transparent notification to give users of Assistive Technology immediate information about the state of accessibility in Gutenberg and the opportunity to install the classic editor plug-in. Given recent conversations about bundling the classic editor plug-in on updates, this would greatly assist feasibility, and may change the way it is presented.

We will provide further ideas and suggestions within the ticket to try and identify the best method and text to express this. 

Discuss current Gutenberg BlockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. issues

Some blocks (notably the media with text,  table, column, and list blocks) have noticeably worse accessibility than others. We need to decide whether we want to specifically recommend that blocks be omitted from the release until they are improved. Some of these blocks are in need of significant work due to bugs in essential functionality, so they should improve, regardless. 

We will post recommendations on Monday, based on a review of progress at this point in the release candidateRelease Candidate A beta version of software with the potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge..

Open floor

We discussed issue 10559 “Current block invisible focus when Unified Toolbar is on“. This issue touches on the removal of focus and hover outlines on blocks when using the unified toolbar interface option. We feel that there are users who may prefer to have both the focus tools and the unified toolbar option, and this is currently not possible, despite the fact that there is an additional option (spotlight mode) that also removes the focus and hover outlines. 

Author note: at the time of the meeting, WordPress 5.0 was scheduled for November 19th. The release of WordPress 5.0 has been shifted to November 27th, and other dates have also been adjusted. The meeting record reflects the dates as known at the time of the meeting.