Accessibility Team Meeting Notes: September 25, 2020

These are the weekly notes for the 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). ( Team meeting that happens on Fridays. You can read the full transcript on our Slack channel and find the meeting’s agenda here.

Accessibility review of toolbars in the 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. editor

We reviewed and discussed a few issues that introduce new editing functionality to the block’s toolbar. We agreed that replacing elements “on the fly” was not a recommended pattern. It unexpectedly removes elements from the DOM and can break expected interaction.

We support a solution currently being explored in this Gutenberg PR and will test it once the code is ready.

On-demand announcement to screen readers via a keyboard shortcut of the block’s contents

We also discussed this proposal on a Gutenberg issue that suggests providing a keyboard shortcut to allow screen reader users to hear the full contents of a block when triggered.

There are concerns about keyboard shortcut conflicts and of adding more shortcuts to an ever-growing list. There is one solution currently being explored on this issue in the Gutenberg repo that will allow users to customize keyboard shortcuts. We think that it might help alleviate these concerns.

We also discussed the possibility of adding a skip-link that will let keyboard users quickly jump to and find the list of available shortcuts. We think it’ll be useful to explore.

WordPress Accessibility Day

We were also reminded that WordPress Accessibility Day is next week, October 2nd, 2020 at 17:45 UTC. Make sure to add it to your agenda and the organizing team is still in need of volunteers.