Make WordPress Accessible

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  • Rian Rietveld 1:28 pm on September 13, 2016 Permalink

    a11y update week 37 2016 

    Summary meeting WPa11y team, September 2016


    Work is in progress by @trishasalas, @iamjolly and @rachievee.

    Theme review

    There are now 112 accessibility-ready themes in the repository. 80+ Waiting for a review, still a long waiting list. More help with reviewing is most welcome. @iamjolly will help this week and also Caroline Nymark had been doing reviews.

    @joedolson made a minor tweak to the guidelines last week at @afercia‘s request: adding type=button to the best practice example for creating action buttons in themes.

    <button class=”menu-toggle” type=”button”>Menu</button>

    Twenty Seventeen

    The new theme Twenty Seventeen is available at GitHub:
    @davidakennedy will monitor the work and give the team a ping when it’s ready for an accessibility review.


    There is some progress in the Select2 accessibility issues Andrea posted on GitHub.

    Kevin Brown :

    In the next couple of weeks, we plan to work with others to get Select2 to be accessible under the most basic use case: a flat dropdown that is searchable. Since that appears to be the use case that most screen readers support.


    #34635: WordPress image’s title is not alt
    We discussed in length a solution to prevent nonsense for an alt attribute and to be able to set an empty alt=””. @joemcgill is going to work on a patch.

    Open floor

    @davidakennedy: I’m trying to research for Twenty Seventeen is whether it’s possible/advisable to remove the explicit ARIA roles in Twenty Seventeen. Like, role="banner".
    In the team we have very different views on this. We need to research this further (browser support/AT support/usage etc).

    Bug scrub

    #38023: Menus screen: simplify the Menu Settings controls.
    The form layout for the menu settings is done with <dl>.
    It would be great to use proper form elements instead (fieldset, legend). We have similar constructions on other pages, maybe find a consistent way to do them. Needs research, set to 4.7

    #16206: Comment text not marked as required
    and related
    #37331: New site form has non-required fields that have to be filled in.
    We’ll have a go at fixing these two for 4.7

    #16413: Settings page needs HTML refactoring and UI improvements
    This could get some traction if the Fields API gets into core; that would be a starting point for redoing these types of pages, so we wait for that (not in 4.7 yet, according to @sc0ttkclark).

    #18801: Accessibility Enhancements to Settings AP
    It’s basically the same issue as #16413.

    #21414: Use the “Keyboard Shortcuts” checkbox in the user profile to turn on/off all custom shortcuts
    Seems it’s in good hands at the moment.

    #21583: Improve discoverability and visual design of Screen Options and Help Panels
    It would be nice to get this into core, but it’s a lot of work and will take some releases.

  • Rian Rietveld 7:05 am on August 23, 2016 Permalink

    a11y update week 34 2016 

    Summary team meeting WPa11y team, August 23

    Focus for WP 4.7

    @davidakennedy suggested: “Since new user experience will be a focus: maybe there’s a11y items we can improve related to that? First-time installs, theme activation, etc.”. And we agreed that this is a good idea.

    Some suggestions that came up:

    • let the test team do the famous 5-minute install with different AT
    • focus exclusively on the experience with default themes
    • plugins: only install, active, deactivate, remove
    • check for and address any existing problems
    • see whether there are any major changes proposed for WP 4.7 and test those
    • hashtag #a11y-firstinstall for tickets

    @trishasales and @rianrietveld have time for this.

    Theme reviews

    @joedolson completed a couple reviews in the last two weeks. Robert Jolly (@iamjolly) is joining Joe and David in reviewing themes for the accessibility-ready tag.


    Robert Jolly is also going to help Trisha and Rachel Vasquez (@rachievee) with a high level overview and some Project Management for the handbook. The goal is to reinstate the hierarchy that started at WordCamp US and build/modify as needed. There will be a Google hangout next Thursday to get this started.

    Open floor

    Joe brought up the following:

    “We have a list of accessibility related plugins. These are not all of the accessibility-related plugins in the repository. Some plugins are not helping accessibility and a few are even harmful. Do we, or should we have a specific policy governing which plugins we’ll list there?”

    We agreed on not having an official certification/approval system for plugins like we have for the accessibility-ready themes.
    Joe, Robert and Rian are going to look at the plugins tagged for accessibility and investigate if there are plugins that claim to improve a11y but are actually harmful or doing things that are really not beneficial.
    Also we can extent the list with plugins on Useful Tools we think are good.

    Bug scrub

    This week there was no bug scrub, someone needed a holiday…

    And other news that came by during this week

    • Modern Tribe is now sponsoring time for Trisha Sales to spend on work for the accessibility team.
    • Rachel Carden (@bamadesigner) published a nice plugin wa11y , for testing a website for accessibility with e.g. WAVE and Tota11y.
    • @michael.heuberger is working on a plugin using JavaScript to integrate a video in a form submission. This way deaf users can submit their response in sign language.
  • Rian Rietveld 8:01 am on August 6, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: , bug scrub   

    WP a11y update week 31 2016 

    Summary team meeting WPa11y team, August 1

    Team meeting in Slack.

    Retrospective and looking ahead

    In @afercia’s words: Since the release cycle is now in RC time this would probably be a perfect time to think at the past months activities, what went well, what could be improved, do you feel there’s anything that makes contributing difficult for you, is there anything you feel it should be done differently? Maybe also start thinking at (realistic) plans for the next release cycle and check time and resources availability for the next months. Maybe we could introduce this kind of “retrospectives questions” after each release cycle.

    What went well?

    • We’re alive, more or less in good shape, we improved a bit accessibility on WordPress
    • Having a focus each release went well, like heading structure, colour, title attribute
    • Introducing the bug scrubs – even if it doesn’t directly fix tickets it does bring order to the madness
    • Attending and speaking at WordCamps was useful
    • Accessibility tables and workshops on contributor days at WordCamps

    And from our sponsors:
    WP Site Care sponsored Andrea and Rian to go to the community summit and WCUS15. Yoast sponsors 25% of Andrea’s time to do a11y core work. And (spoiler alert) Rian will be sponsored too for 25% as from mid August.

    What can be improved on

    • We don’t have time resources, people, and skills to start managing accessibility projects. We work on the existing issues but need to start thinking at bigger plans. Patching and patching is someway expected in a so large project with outstanding accessibility issues, at the same time it would be great to start bigger projects.
    • Accessibility is not part of new features since the initial development steps, but something added at a later stage

    Do you feel there’s anything that makes contributing difficult for you?

    • Everyone: lack of time
    • Some of the new features, like Shiny Updates and Twenty Sixteen and Fields API, were initially developed on GitHub, that makes things more difficult to follow different things on different places
    • The difficulty of monitoring accessibility is that it involves every part of core development. Maybe we need to focus on training the developers, and not in fixing stuf ourselves.
    • A couple more coders would help too
    • The lack of proper screen reader accessibility of Slack makes it difficult for @arush to contribute.
    • There are accessibility issues on the form to create new tickets and to comment on tickets in Trac, which makes it difficult for people using assistive technology to contribute.

    Plans and ideas

    • Spend more time on WPa11y core work and documentation
    • Focus on education developers and designers
    • Training for theme reviews accessibility-ready tag
    • Extend and improve the pattern library
    • Give more workshops on WordCamps
    • Do more a11y audits on core, with recommendations to fix (and not fix ourselves)
    • A monthly or quarterly or whatever worldwide a11y contributor day, like the translation day, use also the global a11y awareness day
    • A11y audit on the Trac templates
    • Involve more assistive technologies users on trac, but before that the Trac issues must be solved
    • Start a featured project (the Media maybe?)

    Open floor

    Maybe we need a statement on Make/Accessibility that the accessibility team is independent and not connected to any company for assistive technology or test software. This to prevent to be claimed by companies for our voluntarily work on open source.

    Bug scrub, August 1

    We discussed tickets labeled accessibility and with status awaiting review.

    Bugscrub in Slack.

    #37513: Admin bar sub menu items dashicon and screen readers and
    #37511: Dashboard activity widget: hide the “No activity yet” smiley from assistive technologies
    Screen readers behave differently with CSS generated content, for example VoiceOver gets CSS generated content icons as “text” element. The W3C spec says is that something is probably going to change in the next future and CSS generated content, including dashicons, will be probably announced as content by assistive technologies. We should monitor this as a general issue for all the CSS generated content used in WordPress.
    Set both tickets to 4.7-early

    #37486: Make emojis accessible
    Andrea opened this ticket mainly to start a discussion about Emojis. This needs research, Rian will have a go on this.
    Set to Future release.

    #36925: Media views: introduce a “Heading” view for better accessibility
    Set to future release, there is already good work in progress for this ticket.

    #36474: Revamp meta boxes
    A ticket for the UI/design team to handle, the label accessibility is only added to keep informed about relevant UI changes.

    #36447: Responsive preview icons in Customizer need tooltips
    We agreed that tooltips are necessary. Best = Icon + text and Second best = Icon + aria-label/tooltip. Good example is GitHub handles the icons with aria-label and tooltips. @arush mentioned grease monkey script  to help those who aren’t power users deal with them on the NVaccess Github
    Set to Future Release and assigned @iamjolly as owner

    And other news that came by during this week

    Josh Pollock, the plugin author of Caldera Forms, started working on fixing accessibility issues in his plugin. You can follow his progress for Caldera Forms in GitHub. Feedback is welcome.

    • Rachel Carden 1:42 am on August 8, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the extensive update! I’m a developer who’s passionate about a11y and would like to get more involved with WPa11y, especially with coding and education. I’m already on WordPress Slack as @bamadesigner. Just let me know how I can contribute. Looking forward to helping out!

  • Joe Dolson 6:08 pm on July 7, 2016 Permalink  

    WordCamp Europe Summary 

    The WordPress Accessibility Team at WordCamp Europe. Left to Right: Joe Dolson, Andrea Fercia, Rian Rietveld, Graham Armfield, Mike Little, and Morten Rand-Hendriksen

    The WordPress Accessibility Team at WordCamp Europe. Left to Right: Joe Dolson, Andrea Fercia, Rian Rietveld, Graham Armfield, Mike Little, and Morten Rand-Hendriksen

    On June 26th, the contributor day for WordCamp Europe, several of the members of the accessibility team were able to meet and address a variety of issues. It was a great opportunity to try and pin down some long-term problems and strategize for the future!

    During the event, we:

    • Taught several theme developers and reviewers the process of testing themes for the accessibility-ready tag
    • Worked with the Design team to finalize solutions to a couple of nagging issues in communicating information formerly only available in title attributes
    • Discussed some of the problems in the theme review workflow that relate to the accessibility-ready tag and brainstormed ways of handling them
    • Discussed ideas for increasing the automation available for doing accessibility-ready testing of themes
    • Prepared patches and worked through a number of open tickets in the accessibility queue
    • Gave a great workshop on keyboard accessibility
    • Promoted increased participation in preparing subtitles for videos on WordPress.tv
    • Worked on improving the accessibility of the WordPress core tags widget
    • Discussed improvements to Contact Form 7 with @takayukister
    • Met and talked to more people interested and excited about accessibility in WordPress!

    The opportunities to work together at great events like WordCamp Europe are priceless; big thanks to the WordCamp Europe team for all their hard work!

  • Konstantin Obenland 5:37 pm on May 16, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: feature-plugin, , shiny-updates   

    Shiny Updates Review 

    Hello Accessibility Group!

    @joedolson was so kind to look over Shiny Updates a few months ago, but since then a lot of improvements have made it into the plugin and we feel it could benefit from another Accessibility review. We’d like to have Shiny Updates in the best shape it can be before it gets merged and would appreciate it if you could look through the latest version of the plugin and see if there is anything that can be improved there.

    If you do encounter issues, it would be great if you could file those on GitHub for us to fix them.

    Our next chat will be on Tuesday, May 17 at 19:00 UTC in #feature-shinyupdates, in case you have questions or want to discuss any aspect of Shiny Updates. We’re also around to answer questions outside of that of course, please feel free to let us know.

    Thank you!

  • Rian Rietveld 3:53 pm on May 13, 2016 Permalink

    20th WordPress Accessibility test: Add media with Speech Recognition Software 

    This test is for users of Speech Recognition Software, like Dragon Naturally Speaking.
    We would like to know how well adding images works in WordPress, what the issues are, what works and what not. So then we know what to fix.

    If you know how to use such software like Dragon Naturally Speaking could you please do the next 3 test for us.
    Please report what problems you encountered, what was hard or impossible to do and also what was easy.

    Please login to your WordPress website and try the following 3 tests.

    Test 1:

    • Go to All Posts
    • Edit a post
    • Put the cursor somewhere in the content where you want to add an image
    • Click the button “Add Media”
    • Select an image from the Media Library
    • On the right there are attachment details showing now
    • Change the title
    • Change the caption
    • Change the alt text
    • Change the description
    • Change the alignment
    • Change the link to option
    • Change the size
    • And click the blue button “Insert into post”

    Note: Are you seeing scrollbars for the grit with images and/or the attachment detail? Can you scroll down?

    Test 2:

    • Go to All Posts
    • Edit a post
    • Put the cursor somewhere in the content where you want to add an image
    • Click the button “Add Media”
    • Select Upload files
    • Try to upload an image from your computer
    • And click the blue button “Insert into post”

    Test 3:

    • Go to All Posts
    • Edit a post (doesn’t matter which one)
    • Put the cursor somewhere in the content where you want to add a gallery
    • Click the button “Add Media”
    • Select from the option left “Create Gallery”
    • Select now 4 images
    • Click the blue button “Create Gallery”
    • Try to reorder the images by drag and drop
    • Change the caption on one image
    • Change the Gallery Settings
    • And click the blue button “Insert gallery”

    Please add to your findings which assistive technology and which version of it you used for this test and also which browser and operating system.
    If you want to read more about the discussions on this, read the related ticket: #23562

    Report your findings as a comment with this post, you can also refer here to a link to a document with your test results.

    If you need help to set up this test, please email to wpa11ytest@gmail.com

    All results of the tests will be posted in this blog later.

    • prjsoft 10:09 pm on May 14, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I use https://speechpad.pw speech recognition with OS integration options. Can I participate in this test?

    • Rian Rietveld 9:45 am on May 15, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hi @prjsoft, yes please!

    • ewaccess 12:47 am on May 17, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Test 1:
      -Would have expected the images in Add Media to respond to “Click Image” command. Ultimately selected with the mousegrid. Enjoyed that the images were a reasonably large click target.
      -Once I clicked the image and saw the visual iconography of a checkbox, I was delighted to find that the images responded to Dragon’s “click checkbox” command. Yay, role= “checkbox”! This allowed for efficient selection of images.
      -Saying “Click Title” to set focus in the Title edit box (to change the title of the image) instead set focus to the image of the glasses atop of the book. This was completely unexpected behavior.
      -It turns out that a Dragon user is unable to set focus to any edit box by calling its name. However, I can choose an individual field by saying “Click Edit” followed by a number. This is annoying. I would expect to set focus in a form field by saying “click

      Test 2:
      -I was surprised that “Select files” didn’t activate upon calling its name. Rather, I said “click Select Files.” Dragon set focus to the control. Then I had to call “press Enter Key” to activate it. Not a major annoyance, just unexpected.

      Test 3:
      -I do not understand how to select multiple images with the keyboard.
      -I would not have been able to do this had I not guessed that the images were checkboxes. I was able to select multiple images by saying “click checkbox.”

    • ewaccess 12:52 am on May 17, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sorry, my intro got cut off. This test was conducted using Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional 13 and Google Chrome (latest) on Windows 8.1 Pro.

    • Graham Armfield 6:39 pm on May 19, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I have tried the tests with Dragon 14 Professional on a Windows 7 machine via Internet Explorer 11.

      Test 1

      1) Getting the media panel up is easy.
      2) Can’t select images directly with any obvious commands, but yes, if you say “Click Checkbox” then you can choose images that way. That’s useful. Mouse Grid command or Move Mouse Up” etc commands work fine too but cumbersome.
      3) As ewaccess discovered saying “Click Title” does not select the Title text box. Instead it selects one of the images. It actually turns out that Dragon is reading the filenames of the images. I verified this by saying “Click Wallpaper” and the two images that have wallpaper in their filenames get the Dragon choice flags.
      4) The reason for the text fields and dropdowns not being directly accessible is that the labels are not explicitly tied to the corresponding input fields – D’oh. However, once you’re on one of the input fields (via Mouse grid) you can say “Press tab” to move through the fields. It’s possible to update all the fields without problem.
      5) The scrolling of the panels can’t be done directly using the “Page down” or “Move down” commands unless focus is out of the input fields. I’ve experienced that in other pages with Dragon. Dragging the scrollbar is possible but such a drag (ka tish!)
      6) Clicking of buttons is fine.

      Test 2

      No issues other than notes in Test 1

      Test 3

      1) Selected four images using mouse grid and mouse click. Mouse move also possible.
      2) After Create Gallery button pressed, image order can be changed using Mouse grid followed by mouse drag left/right. Works OK.
      3) Can’t access the caption fields directly with Click caption of anything like that. Digging reveals that there is no label for these fields – just a placeholder – D’oh. Dragon does not recognise placeholders. However, you can choose easily by saying “Click type text” or “Click text” and then choosing one of the highlighted options.
      4) Ditto as above for input fields to right – no labels.
      5) Clicking buttons fine.

      A lot of mouse manipulation is required here if users don’t guess the possible Dragon shortcuts. This could make the process hard work.

      In my view the one thing that should be done is to explicitly connect the labels to inputs in Attachment or Gallery details. That would save a lot of grief for Dragon users. And how to screen reader users get on with that??

      Some way of labelling the caption edits in the Create Gallery flow would be good too. A placeholder on its own is not enough.

      Happy to get into more debate if required.

    • John 2:44 am on May 23, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Dragon 13, Windows 8.1, Chrome

      Test 1:
      Go to All Posts – OK
      Edit a post – OK
      Put the cursor somewhere in the content where you want to add an image – OK
      Click the button “Add Media” – unable to use “Click Add Media”
      Select an image from the Media Library – used MouseGrid
      On the right there are attachment details showing now – yes
      Change the title – OK
      Change the caption – OK
      Change the alt text – OK
      Change the description – OK
      Change the alignment – Would not work for me
      Change the link to option – OK
      Change the size – Would not navigate for me.
      And click the blue button “Insert into post” – OK
      Note: Are you seeing scrollbars for the grit with images and/or the attachment detail? Can you scroll down?- Did not have enough data for scrollbar.

      Test 2:

      Go to All Posts
      Edit a post
      Put the cursor somewhere in the content where you want to add an image
      Click the button “Add Media”
      Select Upload files
      Try to upload an image from your computer
      And click the blue button “Insert into post”

      ** Select files would not click using commands.

      Test 3:
      Go to All Posts – OK
      Edit a post (doesn’t matter which one) – OK
      Put the cursor somewhere in the content where you want to add a gallery – OK
      Click the button “Add Media” – OK
      Select from the option left “Create Gallery” – OK
      Select now 4 images – OK
      Click the blue button “Create Gallery”- OK
      Try to reorder the images by drag and drop – Unable to complete this.
      Change the caption on one image – OK
      Change the Gallery Settings – OK
      And click the blue button “Insert gallery” – OK

      A lot of new commands and manipulation that took time.


    • tchaecker 11:18 am on May 23, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Windows Voice Recognition, Windows 7, Internet explorer

      This was the first time I used Windows Voice Recognition.

      Some of the tasks are only doable by using the mousegrid function that uses numbers to determine the area to click on. I use “MG” as short for “only doable using the mousegrid”.

      One thing was a bit odd – when selecting images the number links wouldn’t show up for individual images until one was selected, but once one was selected it worked flawlessly.

      I couldn’t figure out how to use dropdowns with Windows Voice Recognition without using the mousegrid. Google couldn’t help but maybe I missed something.

      Test 1:
      Go to All Posts – OK
      Edit a post – OK
      Put the cursor somewhere in the content where you want to add an image – MG
      Click the button “Add Media” – unable to use “Click Add Media” – OK
      Select an image from the Media Library – MG (once I chose an image the numbers would show to select another image but not at first)
      On the right there are attachment details showing now – yes
      Change the title – OK
      Change the caption – OK
      Change the alt text – OK
      Change the description – OK
      Change the alignment – MG
      Change the link to option – MG
      Change the size – MG
      And click the blue button “Insert into post” – OK
      Note: Are you seeing scrollbars for the grit with images and/or the attachment detail? Can you scroll down?- yes

      Test 2:
      Go to All Posts – OK
      Edit a post – OK
      Put the cursor somewhere in the content where you want to add an image – MG
      Click the button “Add Media” – OK
      Select Upload files – OK
      Try to upload an image from your computer – OK
      And click the blue button “Insert into post” – OK

      Test 3:
      Go to All Posts – OK
      Edit a post (doesn’t matter which one) – OK
      Put the cursor somewhere in the content where you want to add a gallery – MG
      Click the button “Add Media” – OK
      Select from the option left “Create Gallery” – OK
      Select now 4 images – MG
      Click the blue button “Create Gallery”- OK
      Try to reorder the images by drag and drop – MG
      Change the caption on one image – OK
      Change the Gallery Settings – MG
      And click the blue button “Insert gallery” – OK

  • Joe Dolson 7:59 pm on April 18, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: , , wishlist   

    Accessibility Wish List for 4.6 and beyond 

    Following the example from development on the WordPress Editor, the accessibility team is going to start posting our goals in wish list format. If you have an accessibility goal you’d like to see the team pursue on WordPress core, add it in a comment and let us know!

    Current Accessibility Goals

    • Color Contrast: coordinate with the Design team to finish the colors. See #31713, #35659, #35596, #35622. (@afercia)
    • Settings API: collaborate with the team working on the Fields API to make sure they’re fabulously accessible. See #18801 for history, Fields API development (@joedolson, @afercia)
    • Uniform Search: Work to address the numerous different search interfaces within the WordPress admin so they offer the same experience through the admin. See #31818. (@cheffheid)
    • Develop libraries for Accessible Tabs & Accessible Modals
    • Accessible Video: improve the user interface and meta data relationships for captions & subtitles to make accessible video easier to manage. See #31177. (@rianrietveld)
    • Accessible Media Grid
    • Review usage of target=”_blank” in the admin. See #23432. (@trishasalas)
    • Finish headings improvements: remove controls from headings. See #26601. (@trishasalas)
    • start accessibility work on Select2. See issue 3744 on Select2. (@afercia)
    • Finish working on an accessible Tag Cloud Widget. See #35566.
  • Rian Rietveld 6:35 pm on April 12, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    Team Meeting April 11, 2016 

    Just before the 4.5 release we looked back and ahead on the work we do as a team. The following idea’s where discussed:

    We need more coders (Andrea Fercia is doing way to much on his own), and we have to find a way to find and keep new coders for our team.

    Be less focused on specific tickets, and more focused on tasks. And have somebody responsible for managing a goal, and keeping on top of all tickets pertaining to that goal. That may include asking somebody else to write it or work on it, but that person is keeping on top of that particular goal and whether it’s on track.

    Start a mentor program for new contributors, teach them accessibility and have someone available to answer questions, assign a coder a ‘mentor’ to ping on Slack.

    Find a way to get funding for the team. Almost all the work is done in our free time and this is part of the reason we are short of hands. Brainstorming about funding:

    • Crowd fund, for example Patreon.com
    • WordPress Agencies
    • Universities
    • WordPress Foundation
    • Accessibility organizations

    Joe Dolson is preparing a survey regarding WP and Accessibility, so we can gather data. What AT are people using (they should complete the survey once for each combination they use with WP), their pain points, where they feel WordPress is strong/weak, overall impressions of how WordPress has changed since they started using it including data about when they started using it, what version they’re currently using, if they haven’t updated, etc…

    Tickets cleaup

    To investigate which tikets need work and which goals we need to set for future releases we organize a tickets focussing accessibility review session on Saturday. A bug gardening, ticket cleaning, bug scrub meeting on Saterday April 16 at 13:00 UTC in the accessibility channel in Slack. Everyone is welcome to join us.

    Review the meeting at Slack

  • Joe Dolson 7:18 pm on March 21, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: , , meetings   

    Team Meeting 3/21/2016 

    Our team meeting for today focused primarily on goal setting. As we’re nearing the release candidate stage for WordPress 4.5, it’s time to move our attentions forward to the future again.

    Coming out of 4.5, we know that while we’ve made a lot of progress on our top issues for that release, there’s still a fair amount of work to do, so we’ll be trying finish off the top issues from 4.5: color contrast audits and resolutions and the continuing removal of title attributes. Most of these questions require some significant design decisions, so we’ll be working closely with the design team to get these accomplished.

    Moving forward into 4.6, we want to start work on making the internal search functions inside WordPress more consistent. We also need to tackle a few thorny problems in the media management UI.

    Looking further forward, we’re going to start developing some libraries to create accessible modal dialogs, accessible tabbed interfaces, and accessible tooltips for eventual inclusion in WordPress core. The goal is for these to be available for theme and plug-in developers to use as well as for use within the core, so that everybody developing in WordPress can easily generate these types of user interfaces easily and accessibly.

    Review the meeting at Slack

  • Rian Rietveld 4:00 pm on March 21, 2016 Permalink  

    WordPress goes WCAG 

    With great pride the WordPress Accessibility Team can announce:

    All new or updated code released into WordPress core and bundled themes must conform with the WCAG 2.0 guidelines at level AA.

    On February 15th, 2016, the WordPress Accessibility Coding Standards were approved and added to the Core Handbook as a part of the code standards WordPress developers are expected to meet when contributing to core.

    What does WCAG 2 AA mean?

    WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). These guidelines ensure that people with disabilities can use the web. The current WCAG standards are version 2 and AA refers to the level of accessibility reached. Level A is the most basic standard, while Level AA is used as a reference for a legal standard in many countries worldwide. Level AAA is most commonly only addressed for special dedicated software.

    What does this mean for WordPress core?

    With every release WordPress gets more accessible for users with disabilities. We’re not there yet — a lot of work still needs to be done on current functionality and interface. We need all the help we can get! The accessibility of the Admin (the administration area of WordPress) is getting better and better. We are researching, testing and fixing accessibility issues in the Admin together with the core developers and our great test team.

    What about themes?

    The bundled themes, like Twenty Sixteen, already make it easy for you to create a web site that complies with WCAG 2 AA, so when you set up a new installation of WordPress, you’re already on the right track out of the box.

    In the WordPress theme repository you can search for themes with the “accessibility-ready” tag. These themes have gone through much the same testing process as the bundled core themes. For every theme with this tag, a member of the WordPress accessibility team has personally checked the theme for keyboard accessibility, color contrast, and a variety of other specific accessibility guidelines. We don’t currently have the depth of reviewers to test every theme update, however, unlike with the core themes, so we can’t guarantee that each theme will continue to meet these standards in future updates.

    What about plugins?

    The accessibility of plugins is the responsibility of each plugin author. Neither the accessibility team nor the plugin review team have the resources to review each of the more than 40,000 plugins currently in the repository. If you are a theme or plugin author, please take a look at our handbook for best practices and documentation.

    What’s next?

    Today, 25% of the web runs on WordPress and our mission is to democratize publishing. That is why we will keep moving forward on the accessibility of WordPress: to give everyone, including people with a disability, an excellent and easy to use tool so they can maintain their own website or application.

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