Accessibility Team Update: February 11, 2015


We had a report by Rian Rietveld on testing results. Things are going very well. Rian said: “I’m getting test results back on the tab order of the post table, it seems to work ok, but they found a ton of other problems, I have to check the current tickets and open new if necessary.”

Pattern Library

David Kennedy told us that the repos are set up for contributions to the theme pattern library. See the Accessible Theme Pattern Library Update for February for more info.

CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. Discussion

Andrea Fercia reported on a discussion he had with the Core team. He asked about menu bar admin focus and non-link links (28599 and 26504). Joe Dolson said “the link/button question really requires specific cases; I’m not sure how we could approach giving any kind of global comments on the topic.” Andrea said that he also updated the Core team about the first testing round on customizer theme switcher.

Theme Checking

Joe Dolson updated us on the state of checking themes requesting the accessible-ready tag.”We’re now up to 29 live themes carrying the 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). ( tag which have been tested and passed. There’s one outstanding theme live that does not pass (_tk); it’s undergoing the review process now, and will either be suspended or updated soon.I’ve got two pending theme reviews to do, and know of at least 1 theme that’s currently approved and waiting to go live.”
Joe has also trained two of the theme review team admins on reviewing for accessibility. Additionally Joe has shifted support for landmark roles into a required feature for accessibility-ready themes, rather than recommended.


Discussion turned to the over-abundance of landmarks. The current proposed code (#23089) outputs too many landmark roles. A theme may add numerous landmark roles without the ability to control where and how many there are. Andrea noted “currently, _s outputs one aside (mapped to complementary) for each widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user., nested inside a general complementary area for widgets.” Jared Smith of WebAim recently said “Easy accessibility check: Search for “role” in source code. If 0 instances, probably bad. If 1-20, probably OK. If greater than 20, definitely awful.”

Other Items

Morten Rand-Hendriksen asked: “What is the best tool for computer voice control (in particular, voice controlled browsing) on both Windows and MacOS? Are there any workable free tools or are we confined to things like Dragon?” There is a demo mode in JAWS and NVDA is free. If there is a free way for developers and designers to experience things using voice control it will help them understand the issues better.Sam Sidler noted that “OS X has voice control built-in, so I’d call that free, but not open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL.-level free.”

We finished off by discussing Shiny Updates (see ticket 29820 now landed in core). According to Andrea Fercia there are two main accessibility issues:

    • focus handling
    • absolutely no feedback for screen reader users when an install/update action starts, ends, fails, etc.

About the latter issue Andrea said “I’d like to propose a solution based on Graham Armfield’s idea (see #28892) but done in a way that it would hopefully be a useful tool for developers.”

The entire conversation from February 11 is available in SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at archives for the #accessibility channel.

#accessibility-team-meeting, #team-reps