Discussion: Bringing accessibility-first approaches into content development

At WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. US 2023, @jominney, @newcomer22 and team published the Training Team Accessibility Checklist 🎉 I’ve recently been considering how we can bring 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)-first approaches into the team’s content creation/review processes better.

What would it take for the team to be able to say “We’ve given our best effort to ensuring all content on Learn WordPress is accessible” when we relaunch the site with Learning Pathways in July this year? I’ve dropped some thoughts below, but this is just to get the conversation going. Let’s discuss in the comments until March 9th (Friday), and then consider next steps after that.

I noticed the WordPress project’s accessibility statement says:

WordPress aims to make the WordPress Admin and bundled themes fully WCAGWCAG WCAG is an acronym for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines are helping make sure the internet is accessible to all people no matter how they would need to access the internet (screen-reader, keyboard only, etc) https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/. 2.0 AA compliant where possible.

  • Question: Is striving for WCAG 2.0 AA compliance a reasonable standard for content on Learn WordPress, too?

The team’s current Accessibility Checklist has some items that go beyond the scope of WCAG 2.0 AA, but is also missing some items within scope. Below is my personal take on what content creators specifically would need to be mindful of in order to create content that is fully WCAG 2.0 AA compliant.

(Note, I’m specifically considering what can be achieved in the content creating process – mostly conducted within the WordPress Editor. There are other coding-related considerations that must be made in the theme etc., which is worth its own separate conversation.)

  • Question: Is the following list an accurate representation of what content creators would need to be mindful of to create WCAG 2.0 AA compliant content?
  1. All non-text content has a text alternative. (Guideline 1.1 – Text Alternatives)
  2. Captions and transcripts are provided for all videos. (Guideline 1.2 – Time-based Media)
  3. Audio description is provided for all prerecorded video content. Or, narration in video content describes all important visual details, including actions, scene changes, and on-screen text. (Guideline 1.2 – Time-based Media)
  4. Instructions do not rely solely on components such as shape, color, size, visual location, orientation, or sound. (Guideline 1.3 – Adaptable)
  5. Color is not used as the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element. (Guideline 1.4 – Distinguishable)
  6. Text and images of text have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1. (Guideline 1.4 – Distinguishable)
  7. Unless essential, text should be used instead of images of text. (Guideline 1.4 – Distinguishable)
  8. No content flashes more than three times/second. (Guideline 2.3 – Seizures and Physical Reactions)
  9. The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone. (Guideline 2.4 – Navigable)
  10. Headings describe topic or purpose. (Guideline 2.4 – Navigable)

Points 3 (audio descriptions for video content) is currently not included in the team’s accessibility checklist.

  • Question: In the context of video content on Learn, what would adding audio description to videos look like? Is it possible to publish videos where all necessary content is included in the narration?

Finally, I think it would be great if we could move the accessibility checklist from being a final check made on content to something embedded in content development and review processes.

  • Question: How can we bring accessibility-first approaches into our content development and review processes?