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 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


This week in WordPress Accessibility, November 27, 2017

Weekly meeting

Transcript meeting in Slack


Should we  use <pre><code> or <pre> or shortcodes like [ php ] for displaying code examples? The shortcode adds a table, VoiceOver doesn’t announce this well and also jumps unexpectedly out of the code example.
Conclusion discussion: we need to do more research, also with other screen readers and see how they perform.

New articles:

  • Post about forms need a bit of text tweaking
  • Post about archive page needs some addition text with discussion


Two tests are still open:

  • Test the Gutenberg inserter
  • Test the Gutenberg toolbar roving tabindex

Pause meeting for the holidays

We will skip the meetings on December 25th and January 1st.

Items on the To-do list

  • Research screen reader performance for code short codes like [ php ] or [ html ]
  • Write up a summary of things that will change in WCAG 2.1 for designers and developers
  • Tests Gutenberg

VoiceOver on MacOS High Sierra

VoiceOver can finally read multi-language content. When it detects a different language, it switches to a synthesizer in that language.

Also new to VoiceOver is something equally new to iOS 11: image descriptions. VoiceOver (VO) has been speaking the main objects in pictures since last year, but that was only for photos you’d stored in a Photos library. Now, you can press vo-shift-l while VO is on a picture to get a description, if the current app supports the feature. This even includes text recognition, letting you hear what’s in an image, even if it’s a screenshot or meme. Time will tell just how well this works in practice, but it’s great to see such a powerful feature being introduced, even if the artificial intelligence behind it seems to need more tweaking.

Accessibility news / good reads


This week in WordPress Accessibility, November 13, 2017

Transcript in Slack

Planning and focus for WP 5.0

  • Gutenberg, testing an fixing
  • Finishing the first version of the handbook
  • Media tickets (if there is time left)

The handbook

The content of what to do on a WP contributors day in the handbook has been updated.

The work on best practices is in progress. Maja Benke, Sami Keijonen, Rian Rietveld and Stefan Brechbühl are writing. Joe Dolson and William Patton are proof reading and reviewing. We have a deadline of mid January for all draft content but we already publish what is ready and reviewed.


We’ll test during contributor days. Andrea pointed out that he needs more help testing and fixing. There are still a lot of open issues. We discussed how to solve this, it’s hard to get more people involved.

As for the accessibility test team: most gave up on Gutenberg and there is hardly any useful response anymore. Maybe we started testing too soon. There was a discussion if and how we can use the test server we have on, without a conclusive outcome.

Open floor

The time of the meetings will be one hour later:

  • Bug scrub: 16:00 UTC
  • Team meeting: 17:00 UTC

Accessibility news


This week in WordPress Accessibility, October 24, 2017

Transcript in Slack

Please note: the times of our meetings have changed.


Because of work and holidays, the last month not much work was done on the handbook. But as from now we will pick up writing again. The goal still is to have the handbook finished mid March 2018 (with all the text ready for review around mid January).

Tickets/Issues for contributor days

We need a page to refer to on contributor days with a list of tickets and issues to work on. Preferable tickets without a long history of discussion. Like “good-first-bugs” or keyword related tickets or Gutenberg “Good first issue”. @afrecia provided a list and Rian will create the page.

Our focus for 5.0

For the WordPress 5.0 release we will focus on the accessibility of Gutenberg. There are still a lot of Gutenberg a11y tickets open and discussions to be held and testing to be done.

HTML5 landmarks

Marco Zehe published recently: Firefox 57 will be less chatty to screen readers in some situations. FireFox will treat HTML5 landmarks differently. This has implications for the changes just made in the Underscores theme. @samikeijonen is researching this.

Also Apple VoiceOver doesn’t announce the footer if no role="contentinfo" is added. This seems like a bug.

We will wait until FireFox 57 is officially out and will test this with FF/NVDA and Safari/Voiceover.

Good reads


This week in WPA11y – June 5, 2017

WordCamp Europe

Topics Community Summit (CS):

  • New developments for the the Editor, and how to safeguard it’s accessibility – (Core)
  • Technology version support policies – (Core)
  • How to involve more developers in helping with the accessibility tickets
  • How to proceed with the handbook
  • Addition: Considering the shift towards JS-based interfaces, we should consider to review and update the accessibility coding standards

@joedolson will write up a draft for the updated coding standards, for us to discuss on the CS.

Contributor day:
All plans are in the Google Doc: List of goals for Contributors day in WCEU.
And the is also a list of a11y tickets to pick from.


After June 26th we will start testing again. For this patches and plugins will be installed on our test server and given to the test team.

To test:

Next meetings

There won’t be a meeting or bug scrub on June 12th (due to WordCamp Europe).



Summary meeting WPa11y team, November 21 2016

Attendees: @afrecia, @cheffheid, @joedolson, @sami.keijonen, @rianrietveld, @arush, @trishasalas and @antotrifiroconaccento.
New to the meeting: Bonnie Boden (@bdd) and Terrence Gonsalves (@tegonsalves), welcome!

Plans for WP 4.8

Main focus: Settings API,  Uniform search and ticket 26601:

Fixing accessibility and semantics of the settings API. Plan is to make a parallel version 2 to prevent plugins from breaking. There are a couple issues with the Settings API:

  • It outputs a table with labels and form controls in table cells
  • It doesn’t handle so well checkboxes, group of checkboxes, and radio buttons.
  • No fieldsets or legends.

Related ticket: #38734 Dogfood the Settings API

Uniform search, related ticket: #31818 Uniform Search Form Display/Experience

Finish work in ticket #26601 Inappropriate content in headings on admin screens

ATAG review

ATAG means: Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0 and Joe Dolson reviewed how well the WordPress Admin does for those guidelines. He will write a report with the complete results later, here already a quick summary:

  1. Video/image modal does not announce selection to AT in visual editing.
  2. Video/image modal toolbar does not have valid labels (labels are on wrapper divs as aria-label, actually focusable element is empty)
  3. Method to associated video captions programmatically with media library object does not exist
  4. Animated Gif images should not autoplay in visual editor
  5. Alt attributes should be searchable in media library
  6. Should be possible to set custom style settings in editor
  7. Publishing content must not strip out added accessibility information, such as ARIA attributes
  8. Accessibility information should be mentioned in documentation: e.g., instructions on how to add an image should mention the need for alt attributes.
  9. There is no method to structure and publish accessible tables.
  10. There is no method to structure and publish accessible forms.
  11. Meta boxes order cannot be changed from the keyboard; drag and drop only

And that will mean a lot of new tickets 🙂

Next meeting will be Monday November 28 at 18:00 UTC


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.


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.


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.

#accessibility-team-meetup, #bug-scrub