Repost: Takeaways from the WordCamp US Accessibility Hackathon, by Deque

Plans for the Hackathon with Deque at the WCUS Contributor day

Deque Systems will join WordPress core developers to set up automated accessibility testing for WordPress, at the contributor day of WordCamp US in Nashville, December 9th.

Today we had a chat on what we will do then and how to set up the Hackathon with:

  • @johnbillion @joemcgill and @rianrietveld from WordPress
  • Caitlin Cashin, Dylan Barrell and Stephen Mathieson from Deque. Dylan and Stephen, both lead developers at Deque, will be at the Hackathon.

We discussed what the most useful will be to work on and decided that targeting accessibility test for themes (specific Twenty Nineteen)  might be a good starting point. Then theme and plugin developers can use this setup/framework to write tests of their own.

We can start creating a framework and write some accessibility test for Twenty Nineteen and generate a list of tests to write. If there is time (and help from the Gutenberg team) set up a framework for Gutenberg and core.


  • Ask for a dedicated Slack channel for preparations and discussions  – Rian will ask @pento
  • Ask WordCamp US for a post on their website about the Hackathon – Rian
  • Create a local development setup – Joe/John/Deque
  • Get the testing framework setup – Deque
  • Create a few sample tests – TBD
  • Generate a list of tests – TBD

We can use help from core and Gutenberg developers, so ping us or comment below if you want to join.


I have resigned as the WordPress accessibility team lead. Here is why

I have resigned as the WordPress accessibility team lead. Here is why.

Team meeting September 17, 2018

Transcript meeting in Slack

Topics meeting

Gutenberg progress

@afercia: The Gutenberg team has started working on some of the UI issues, however many of the accessibility issues are still there with no great progress. There are still about 100 issues open, 12 of which are breaking for the merge milestone.

We discussed the accessibility of a new feature proposal: Modal appear animation and where actually amazed that there is still time to develop such extras when there are so many show stopping open issues and bugs left to fix.

WordPress 4.9.9

As noted in the WordPress 4.9.9 Minor Release Roadmap, one of the goals is:

We’d also want to focus on fixing issues in accessibility. There’s lots of ways we can drastically improve the experience for a lot of people with minor effort.

Basically in this release we will try to knock out a bunch of small issues that have been overlooked. @rianrietveld will contact @schlessera about what the best approach will be for this.

To see which of the 150 open tickets can be milestoned 4.9.9 we opened a spreadsheet with a list of them all. Andrea, @audrasjb, @travel_girl, @bamadesigner and Rian will work on this. We will select tickets with some direction of a solution, that seem like an easy fix and that don’t involve major design decisions.

Jean-Baptiste will also look at the accessibility fixes that have already been merged in trunk (which means 5.0) but they’re not in 4.9.8 and won’t be in 4.9.9.
We need to consult Alain if this is something he wants to address too for 4.9.9.

To-do list

  • Test Gutenberg new features Spotlight Mode and Full Screen mode for accessibility issues
  • Find an accessible project management tool
  • Gutenberg AT Manual: Ask for help from marketing team and users of AT
  • Handbook: Process feedback at WordCamp Nijmegen
  • Codex/Develop: Set up a review of the example code in those sections
  • Write blogpost about impact new recommendation WCAG 2.1 AA for WordPress

Next meetings

  • Ticket triage for WordPress 4.9.9: September 24, 14:00 UTC
  • Team meeting: September 24, 15:00 UTC


Team meetings September 3 and 10, 2018

Transcript meeting in Slack

Meeting topics

Gutenberg accessibility work update by @afrecia

There is a new feature (despite of the feature freeze) “Spotlight Mode”: Andrea addressed some a11y concerns here.

Request from Andrea: please test Spotlight Mode and Full Screen mode for accessibility (keyboard use, screen reader feedback, voice recognition control). They are both merged into the latest Gutenberg release.

At this moment there are still 99 open accessibility issues, 12 of them are labeled Milestone Merge Proposal, so have priority.

Gutenberg AT Manual

@abrightclearweb is working on a Gutenberg manual for assistive technology (AT). And while writing she also finds new issues which she reports on the Gutenberg Github repo. Draft version manual.

It’s a lot of work, help with this is very much appreciated. @Wingo5315 is already helping out.

WP a11y handbook

At the contributor day in WordCamp Nijmegen attendees reviewed the handbook. We a Google doc and have now 6 pages of comments; @lucp checked for HTML/CSS errors, @ireneyoast fixed typos , translation and code errors and @jaapwiering did a huge amount of work reorganising and trying to give more structure to the pages. @rianrietveld will process this in the next few weeks.

A11y review codex/develop

We need to review the code examples in the codex (develop) section of They contain a11y mistakes, and as this code will be copy/pasted a lot, we need to fix them.
Rian talked with Pieter Daalder (@wizzard_) from the docs team. The proper workflow for this is add a comment on the page with the error and ping in the doc channel that you need this fixed.

Drupal and Gutenberg

Drupal shows interest in using Gutenberg. At the request of Per Andre Rønsen, Rian posted in the Drupal #accessibility channel info about where to find the issues in Github and what the status is. Let’s see what happens.

Project management tool

We are going to research a good project management tool for the a11y team. Other teams use Trello, but maybe that’s not accessible enough for our use. An alternative could be GitHub projects.

What we did on a contributor day

Proposal: if you led a team on a contributor day, white a summary about what you did, so we can post it on our blog.

To-do list

  • Test Gutenberg new features Spotlight Mode and Full Screen mode for accessibility
  • Find an accessible project management tool
  • Gutenberg AT Manual: Ask for help from marketing team and users of AT
  • Handbook: Process feedback at WordCamp Nijmegen
  • Codex/Develop: Set up a review of the example code in those sections
  • Write blogpost about impact new recommendation WCAG 2.1 AA for WordPress

Next meetings

  • Gutenberg bug scrub: September 17, 14:00 UTC
  • Team meeting: September 17, 15:00 UTC

Team meeting July 2, 2018


Meeting time: Monday 15:00 UTC
Transcript in Slack

The Paciello Group sponsors a JAWS license

During WordCamp Europe we discussed the use of different screen readers to test Gutenberg. This week the Paciello Group (aka TPG) decided to help and sponsor a 90 days license of the screen reader JAWS for Andrea Fercia. Now he can use also JAWS to test Gutenberg functionality and issues. Thanks Adrian Roselli, for your help to make this possible.

Gutenberg manual for assistive technology (AT)

We agreed earlier that there needs to be manual for AT users of Gutenberg. The best place for this will be the new Claire Brotherton (@abrightclearweb) volunteered to start and project lead this. Everyone with AT expertise can join in and help. We will start creating content in Google docs first.

Content bug scrub every week

The bug scrub is held every week on Mondays at 14:00 UTC, just before the team meeting. We agreed on still focusing first on the Gutenberg issues and after that, if there is still time on trac tickets.

Open Floor

Andrea had some good news on Gutenberg

  • All the “popovers” in Gutenberg (panels or menus that open like sort of a modal) have now tabbing constrained within the popover. It would be great to test with keyboard and see if everything is OK and works better. Related Issue: Constrain tabbing within popovers and similar components
  • Thanks to Jorge Costa there’s now a pending PR to improve the Publishing flow. Looks very promising to Andrea. It also makes the sidebar render one at a time, so also normal keyboard navigation should be greatly improved.
    Some testing would be great.
  • The Ctrl + backtick there’s now a proposal to use also the F6 key, as that what Slack added for the same functionality. Just a proposal for now, not implemented yet but there is consensus.

And a question: please have a look at Indent list keyboard shortcuts inconsistencies.
Some people would like to have the Tab key used for indentation, for example in the List block.
Instead, we’re trying to use a different shortcut. There are some problems though.
Some research on what other applications do, for example Google docs, LIbreOffice, etc. would be nice. Also any comment on the issue is welcome.

Team meeting June 25, 2018


Meeting time: Monday 15:00 UTC
Transcript in Slack

Recap WordCamp Europe contributor day

There was a good collaboration with the Gutenteam and 3 issues were discussed or even solved (read the full recap).
It’s a good set up for other WordCamp, it’s also good to have two lists: a Gutenlist and a WPlist.

ATAG statement

We need to have an ATAG statement for the WordPress project. @joedolson will work on that.

WCAG 2.1

After a short discussion we leave the accessibility statement of WordPress as is (Conform to WCAG 2.0) for now. We will start to inform people what WCAG 2.1 is and what is useful to implement, create awareness first. @rianrietveld will write a blogpost.

Open floor

Rachel Cherry (@bamadesigner) dropped the idea of having a combined WPCampus and a WP Accessibility partner event in 2019. Sharing resources and venue. We all think it’s a great idea to explore further and help.


  • Rian: write a post about WCAG 2.1
  • Joe: write an ATAG statement


Overview of the Gutenberg accessibility merge proposal issues

At this moment there are 13 issues open with the label Merge Proposal: Accessibility

These are the most complex issues with high priority. That doesn’t mean that the other 70 open issues are trivial, they also need to be addressed to make Gutenberg work for everyone.

If you want to help out, please select one of the “Issues that need work, review, feedback, discussion”. Andrea Fercia (@afercia) is the lead for the Gutenberg accessibility issues, contact him in GitHub with the issues if you need more information.

Issues that have an owner and are actively worked on:

Issues that need work, review, feedback, discussion:

Issues to do just before merge or after the feature freeze:

Contributor day at WordCamp Europe 2018

The accessibility tables where divided in two parts as always:

  • people who wanted help understanding a11y or needed a review of their work
  • accessibility experts that wanted to help out

But now we also had developers from the Gutenberg and Yoast team who helped with the list of GitHub issues that still needs work.

Gutenberg work

Andrea Fercia led the Gutenberg work.

Meetings with other teams

Sami Keijonen and Rian Rietveld talked to the marketing team about how to promote/ integrate our handbook best practice section in the other teams documentation.


  • Rian did a super quick review of Jetpack and showed Enej Bajgoric how to use some test tools like aXe.
  • Adrian Roselli reviewed and helped improve the Minimal Share Buttons with Milen Petrinski-Gonzo

Thanks all of you so much for joining the 2 a11y tables.

Change in the WP accessibility team meetings time/day

Hey all,

We are changing the day for the bug scrub and team meeting back to the Mondays.

The reason is that Rian has her weekly day off on Wednesday and we didn’t see an increase of attendees when we changed from the Monday to the Wednesday.

So the new day will be Monday.


  • bug scrub at 14 UTC
  • team meeting at 15 UTC

Starting Monday June 25th.

See you then!