WordPress 6.2 Accessibility Improvements

Thank you to @joedolson and @alexstine for collaborating on this post.

With WordPress 6.2 set to launch on March 28th, this post seeks to provide an overview of the many 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). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) improvements and fixes coming to the next major WordPress release. As always, there’s more work to be done with accessibility requiring an ongoing effort and commitment. Outside of the work mentioned below, there have been numerous moments of collaboration around accessibility as features were developed including with splitting tabs in block settings, introducing browse mode, and the additional option to edit the navigation block in the block settings.

If you’re interested in helping with these efforts, please join the #accessibility channel in Make SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. and check out how you can get involved. There are numerous ways to get involved in this important work including testing, giving accessibility feedback, and creating PRs to address feedback.

Navigation blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience.

  • Announce when a block is inserted in the Navigation list view. (47034)
  • Fix various off canvas appender accessibility issues. (47047)
  • Better handling of loading states for navigation selector. (43904)

General block editor experience 

  • TabPanel: Support manual tab activation. (46004)
  • Keycodes: Fix tilde (~) character isn’t displayed correctly. (46826)
  • Update text align toolbar control label. (47119)
  • 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. Tabs: Set default tab to first available. (45998)
  • Make the inline toolbar navigable by arrow keys. (43645)
  • BlockVariationPicker: Remove Unnecessary ARIA Role. (45916)
  • Esure block labels and titles consider variations. (44250)
  • useNavigateRegions: Use closest to determine the next region to navigate to. (44883)
  • Fix focus return when closing the Post publish panel. (45623)
  • Fix the navigate regions focus style. (45369)
  • Fix navigate regions backwards for macOS Firefox and Safari. (45019)
  • Fix the block toolbar styling when the ‘Show button text labels’ preference is enabled. (44779)
  • Fix the Save buttons labeling and tooltip. (43952)
  • Focus on the first parent block on block removal if no previous block is available (48204). This is underway but not yet merged.

Contrast Checker improvements

  • Limit contrast checker to only blocks that have at least one color defined. (43592)
  • Fix: Contrast checker appears unexpectedly on some blocks. (45639)
  • Fix: Contrast checker does not update properly. (45686)

Site editor

  • Change SpacingSizesControl ARIA from region to group. (46530)
  • Browse mode: Fix aria region navigation in the site editor. (46525)
  • Browse mode: Allow resizing the sidebar in the site editor using keyboard. (47176)
  • Browse mode: Add an aria label to the site save dialog. (47898)
  • Style Book: Focus the Style Book when opened, and enable ESCAPE key to close (48151).
  • Style Book: Allow button text labels for style book icon. (48088)
  • Add role=application to List View to prevent browse mode triggering in NVDA. (44291)
  • Make the template customized info accessible. (48159)


  • Add “Testing Instructions for Keyboard” to PR template to encourage accessibility testing. (45957)
  • Constrained tabbing: Fix unstable behavior in FireFox. (42653)
  • TokenInput field: fix screen reader focus issue. (44526)

#6-2, #accessibility