[wp-accessibility] Let's get started on improving WordPress accessibility

Alastair Campbell alastc at gmail.com
Sun Aug 9 12:27:04 UTC 2009

Tynan Colin Beatty wrote:
> Repetetive/non-descriptive link anchors need to be more descriptive and
> unique.

I'd advise a little caution before jumping in and changing all of
them, the relevant accessibility advice on this is:
"The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone
or from the link text together with its programmatically determined
link context, except where the purpose of the link would be ambiguous
to users in general."

I.e. if the repetitive links are in an HTML structure that makes it
apparent what each one is related to, adding more description can
simply slow people down.

Jim Thatcher did a great explanation of this:

For example, I don't think that the actions in the recent comments
area of the dashboard would benefit from extra text. The code of a
comment down to the first link is something like:
<div class="dashboard-comment-wrap">
<h4 class="comment-meta">From <cite
class="comment-author">PersonA</cite> on <a href="#">Article</a> </h4>
<blockquote>The comment</blockquote>
<p class="row-actions"><span class="approve"><a title="Approve this
comment" class="..." href="#">Approve</a></span>
[more links]

The heading above the comments fulfills the 'link context', in the
same way as the W3C's example:

It would probably help to make the actions use list markup (p becomes
ul, span becomes li), but that's probably an easier change, and more
useful than adding hidden text.

(NB: Those links could really do with better onfocus indicators - try
using them with the keyboard-only and working out which link you're

Anyway, sorry to jump straight in like that, it just caught my eye!

The accessibility of an app like Wordpress is quite a wide ranging
challenge, I guess it's best to pick areas and try and improve the
core coding? I would struggle to find time to do a proper review (as
Joe Clark did a few years ago
The admin area and accessibility guidelines have moved on since then,
so that probably isn't relevant anymore.

Kind regards,


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