Are Trac Tickets Still the Best Way to get Accessibility Improvements in WordPress?

Last year, as a result of a number of tracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub. tickets raised by myself and others, a number of 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). ( improvements were made to the WP admin screens in 3.5. This was a good thing in that it showed that some WP developers were happy to address the challenges with existing functionality. And for existing accessibility issues I suppose this is still the right vehicle.

However, I’m troubled with this approach when I think about new functionality that is being developed within every release of WordPress. So far in 3.6 I’m seeing that there are going to be significant changes to the UIs for Custom Menus, Post Formats, and Post RevisionsRevisions The WordPress revisions system stores a record of each saved draft or published update. The revision system allows you to see what changes were made in each revision by dragging a slider (or using the Next/Previous buttons). The display indicates what has changed in each revision. – and there may be others.

It feels to me that there is a disconnect here. All these new and ‘improved’ features seem to get hammered out and developed without accessibility really being thought about. Using trac tickets here to raise accessibility issues seems like trying to bolt the stable door after the horse has departed.

I think it would be a disaster if these new features are developed without some consideration for accessibility, and I’m sure we can all agree that it’s a lot more work to retrofit accessibility into developments. In fact sometimes it’s not really possible – when the design is so alien to accessibility.

I’d hate to see Custom Menus, Post Formats, Post Revisions become the next accessibility disasters – like Theme CustomizerCustomizer Tool built into WordPress core that hooks into most modern themes. You can use it to preview and modify many of your site’s appearance settings., and the new Add Media Panel.

Is there anything we can do to ensure that this doesn’t happen?

#menus, #post-formats, #revisions