Accessibility Team Meeting Notes: January 29, 2021

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.

Updates on team goals for WordPress 5.7

Going through the list of the Accessibility Team goals for WordPress 5.7, we collected progress and identified areas that need more attention.


@joedolson informed the team that all targeted tickets had movement, while not all tickets will be closed in 5.7. A lot of time had to be spent on how the media library works, but lessons learned will speed up the process during 5.8.

Documentation and accessibility patterns

@Hauwa Abashiya highlighted the team aims for the release.

  1. Updating the existing accessibility standards document to provide better guidance
  2. Publishing information about changes in Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 to make those available
  3. Writing up accessibility anti-patterns and recommend patterns as part fo the code standards for interface design

@joedolson suggested to focus on the first two points, and defer the third to a next stage.

More contributors would help; also, everyone is invited to suggest changes to the documentation regarding improvements landing in WordPress 5.7.

WidgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. screen

Following discussion that happened two weeks ago, @Andrei informed the team that the “Classic” Widget Screen will probably stay around just like the Classic Editor is still around.

The starting point will be understanding why and how people people choose to use the Accessibility Mode in Widget Screen. Next, we’ll need to figure out what changes need to happen in the classic widget screen to implement the methodologies in accessibility mode.

Three key differences between classic and accessible widget screens are:

  1. text link to ‘Add’ or ‘Edit’;
  2. links target each widget via a URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL to manage independently;
  3. selection options to choose which sidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme. and position will be used for a widget.

According to @joedolson, a lot can be accomplished by introducing a way of linking directly to and isolating a single widget without changing modes, perhaps via a modal.

The team agreed to open a ticket to address this issue and to rediscuss this topic more in depth in one of the next meetings.

Learn WordPress

@Hauwa Abashiya pointed team contributors to the Recap of the last Learn Working Group meeting and invited to attend to upcoming meetings, happening on Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 15:00 UTC and Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 19:00 UTC, and to have a look at the Learn WordPress Trello Board (which might not be totally accessible).

Things to do before WordPress 5.7 BetaBeta 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. 1

A list of issues to be addressed possibly before WordPress 5.7 Beta 1 (happening on Tuesday, February 2, 2021) was prepared:

  • #47120 (Upload errors in media library) has to be broken into its separate tasks and prepared for next steps
  • Possible options for #39004 (Search alt attributes in Media library) have to be explored
  • Testing for #51631 (Layout of menu screens) is needed before commiting
  • Any help on #51870 (Update focusable elements style) is appreciated.

Open floor

The joint office hours between the Accessibility and the Design team restarted on Wednesday, January 27, and take place every Wednesday at 17:00 UTC either in the #accessibility or in the #design channels on SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at @sarahricker suggested that more working groups organize joint office hours to improve collaboration and lower the entry barrier for people of other teams’ members who have to deal with accessibility issues.