Accessibility Team Meeting Notes: December 11, 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.

Review of the team’s activities for 5.6 release

WordPress 5.6 is out since Tuesday, so the team reviewed the main accessibility achievements of the release.

  • 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 now supports adding captions and subtitles to videos
  • The new Twenty Twenty-One theme is not only accessibility-ready, but also addresses more specialized standards from WCAGWCAG WCAG is an acronym for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines are helping make sure the internet is accessible to all people no matter how they would need to access the internet (screen-reader, keyboard only, etc) 2.1 at level AAA
  • A feature pluginFeature Plugin A plugin that was created with the intention of eventually being proposed for inclusion in WordPress Core. See Features as Plugins. to add an accessibility statement has been worked on during the release
  • Documentation is being rewritten to better describe accessibility patterns and antipatterns

Also, the team was able to build bridges with other teams, component maintainers and focus areas: this was greatly valued both inside the team and from the outside, and cooperation will hopefully improve even more when the new organization of the team in working groups will come into effect.

Team members were in general satisfied with the achievements and are looking into reaching even greater results in the next release.

Planning of weekly meetings during holiday season

Given that December, 25th and January, 1st fall on Friday, no meeting will happen on these days. This means that the next but one meeting will be on January, 8th.

The 5.7 development cycle hasn’t been defined yet, but the release is currently planned for March 2021, so the alpha period will happen mostly during the holidays.

A first step to set and reach targets would be to collect ideas: whoever wants to make a suggestion is invited to add a comment to the self-contained post about accessibility goals for WordPress 5.7.

During next weekly meeting, suggested goals will be discussed, but in the end it will be up to each working group to decide what to focus on for the release, based on the number of contributors and their time availability.

During holiday season, each working group will organize on its own. If needed, extra meeting and/or bug scrubs can be organized, but contributors are always encouraged to work asynchronously and ask for help at any time in the channel.

More details will be worked out during next weekly meeting.

Open floor

@Hauwa Abashiya asked what would be the best way for the training team to reach out for help from the accessibility team regarding accessibility questions raised in the creation of the platform.

Given that most of the work is done in the GitHub repository of the learn WordPress project, it was suggested to create a specific label, so that team members can quickly identify issues related to accessibility.