After the release of WordPress 5.6 on December 8th, the Accessibility 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) Team is already at work to plan the next release.
The 5.7 development cycle hasn’t been defined yet, but a tentative release date was set for March, 9th 2021, a bit less than three months from now. This isn’t really a lot of time: after the release of the first beta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process., only bugs introduced during the relase cycle can be fixed, with no possibility to add new features or enhancements or to fix bugs introduced in WordPress 5.6 or before. Given that some contributors may slow down their activity during alpha because of the holiday season, it’s probably better not to delay further the discussion on possible targets.
Because of this, the Accessibility Team is going to discuss possible goals for the 5.7 release during the next weekly meeting, happening on Friday, December 18, 2020 at 16:00 UTC in the #accessibility channel in the Making WordPress Slack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. (requires registration).
By that time, you are invited to suggest possible goals as a comment to this post, so that it can be included in the discussion.
Given the team decision to create working groups focusing on specific areas of interest, it’ll be up to each working group to set goals and choose targets for the release, but you’re more than invited to share your ideas, take part in the discussion and suggest what to prioritize.
If a certain goal won’t be selected for the 5.7 release, it can always be included in the list that will be created for the 5.8 release.
Four WordPress releases are planned in 2021 with shorter release cycles: if you think that solving a specific issue or adding a new feature may require work that spans over multiple releases, let us know so that we can try to coordinate and help to get the job done.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments or in the #accessibility channel on Slack.