Thank you to @sereedmedia and @joedolson for writing this post.
This post seeks to provide an overview of the many accessibility 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 WordPress 6.4. This release addresses numerous issues that affect accessibility and general UI User interface consistency, including many long-standing wp-admin (and super admin) bugs, such as a six-year-old issue adjusting the relative proximity of interface buttons “Delete Menu” and “Save Menu.”
If you’re interested in improving WordPress accessibility, please join the #accessibility channel in MakeWP Slack 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 to get involved. There are numerous contributing opportunities, such as testing, giving feedback, and working on accessibility issues.
The Site Editor includes improvements for consistent labeling and semantics in pattern and template management and the Navigation block 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..
- #53755 – Comments form: Accessibility fixes for back-end
- #53755 – Add missing aria roles to the ‘Replace template part’ menu item
- #53754 – Add missing aria roles to the ‘Create template part’ menu item
- #53739 – Add missing aria roles to the ‘Create pattern’ menu item
- #52597 – Site Editor: Unify the delete button style in the dropdown menu with red
- #53469 – Add accessible description of current Navigation block state
- #53462 – Implement accessible version of Navigation overlay preview toggle control
- #54418 – Navigation: Add ariaLabel block support
- #52177 – Navigation block: Don’t close submenu when it has focus
- #52170 – Navigation block: Do not toggle aria-expanded on hover when the overlay menu is opened
- #53373 – Search Block: Fix unintended wrapping of button text in “Button only” style
- #52710 – Return focus more from focus return hook
- #52678 – My patterns page: Increase color contrast for the toggle group
- #52641 – Change Delete page menu item to Move to trash Trash in WordPress is like the Recycle Bin on your PC or Trash in your Macintosh computer. Users with the proper permission level (administrators and editors) have the ability to delete a post, page, and/or comments. When you delete the item, it is moved to the trash folder where it will remain for 30 days..
- #52634 – Password protected field: Remove autofocus and improve placeholder text consistency.
- #52622 – Change password input to type text so contents are visible.
- #52603 – Do not autofocus page title field in the ‘Draft a new page’ modal dialog
- #52592 – Site Editor: Fix navigation menu A theme feature introduced with Version 3.0. WordPress includes an easy to use mechanism for giving various control options to get users to click from one place to another on a site. sidebar 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. actions order and label
- #52251 – Navigation block: Add notice on reduced accessibility
- #52271 – Site Editor: update headings hierarchy in the ‘Manage all’ screens
- #52263 – Fix incorrect aria-describedby attributes for theme patterns
- #52930 – [Commands]: Add aria-activedescendant attribute to suggestions
The general block editor experience focuses on making labeling clearer and more consistent and improving the semantics of block and editor HTML HyperText Markup Language. The semantic scripting language primarily used for outputting content in web browsers..
- #52885 – Edit site: Add missing label to post status password protected input field
- #53691 – [a11y 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)] Fix: aria-haspop, aria-expanded attributes on the link format button.
- #53692 – [a11y] Fix: aria-haspop and aria-expanded attributes on the inserter button.
- #54324 – Table block: Fix semantic structure for screen readers on back-end
- #54498 – Improve Notice component accessibility.
- #54687 – Paragraph: Make ‘aria-label’ consistent with other blocks
- #54590 – Allow Modal to place focus on first element within contents via new API An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways.
- #54206 – Allow using a button element for button blocks
- #54184 – Update nofollow control label
- #52255 – Making Circular Option Picker a listbox
- #45801 – Improve the placeholder instructions accessibility.
- #52932 – ColorPalette, BorderControl: Don’t hyphenate HEX value in aria-label
- #52653 – Modal: Fix loss of focus when clicking outside
- #52246 – Improve consistency of the Post editor and Site editor Document actions
- #52495 – Item: Unify focus style and add default font styles
- #53693 – [a11y] Fix: aria-haspop and aria-expanded attributes on list view button.
- #54843 – Footnotes: Add aria-label to return links
WordPress 6.4 fixes many long-term spatial layout and usability issues in the WordPress UI. Key changes include adjusting spacing between elements, repositioning certain actions for better flow, and using more intuitive icons, like replacing the ‘x’ character with a clearer icon.
- #40822 – Addressing proximity in the admin area.
- #56594 – Change position of “Delete menu” action.
- #58493 – User Profile Page: Vertical spacing inconsistency between label and field on smaller screens.
- #59371 – Adjust theme details buttons to improve proximity of controls.
- #59372 – Adjust theme details buttons in Customizer 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. to improve proximity of controls.
- #58785 – Show dashicons-dismiss instead of the character ‘x’ when we talk about the dashicon-dismiss.
Admin UI and Messages
With an emphasis on accessible messaging within the admin area, 6.4 addresses issues like making “Add New” links more descriptive, improving spoken messages for voice output, and adjusting the order and presentation of form elements and notifications.
- #47125 – Admin: clarify the “Add New” links for better accessibility.
- #58573 – Site Health: Improve the speak() messages.
- #30685 – Better Login Error&Message Displaying.
- #58738 – Widgets page: Add missing H1 and admin notice when JS is off.
- #58703 – wp-list-table: <label> is preceding <input> in the checkbox column.
As part of the lead-in to the planned Media Library updates, 6.4 enhances accessibility in a variety of media elements. Adjustments include adding alternative text support, improving select state issues in the Media Library, adhering to device settings, and ensuring focus states are maintained when editing images.
- #58582 – XML-RPC API: Add alt field support.
- #58756 – Media Library Improvements: UI, Non-Closing Options, and Button Select State Issues in Image Editing.
- #55723 – Thumbnails Gifs for Plugins do not respect “no motion” device settings.
- #59353 – Loss of focus when closing Image Rotation menu.
All 6.4 accessibility tickets are viewable in the WordPress Trac.