[wp-accessibility] status of efforts to improve WordPress Accessibility

Lynne Pope lynne.pope at gmail.com
Thu Jun 16 13:11:03 UTC 2011

On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 11:17 PM, Andrew Nacin <wp at andrewnacin.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 7:03 AM, Jennifer Sutton <jsuttondc at gmail.com>wrote:
>> I thought others might either want to post additional comments and/or we
>> might be provided with an update. My guess is that it would be ideal to post
>> comments to the blog post, rather than to this list, so that all comments
>> will be consolidated there.
> Correct, this mailing list is phased out in favor of
> http://make.wordpress.org/accessibility/. Soon I'll have it turned off.
> I'm  not a programmer, so I cannot contribute code, however, I am most
>> interested in improving access to WordPress, both in terms of the front-end
>> output, as well as to the administrative back-end.
>> This kind of work is increasingly important, and the time is right, given
>> the status of the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) from the
>> W3C.  For details, see:
>> http://www.w3.org/TR/2011/WD-ATAG20-20110426/
> I really appreciate you wanting to help. We can use it, for sure. I'd also
> love to hear what has come from the ATAG working group that we should be
> paying attention to, in particular. The W3C has asked us to provide
> feedback, but most of us don't have the time or knowledge to be able to do
> that effectively.

This mailing list never gained traction. When the UI changes came in with WP
2.7 there were a lot of people who wanted to contribute towards making
WordPress more accessible. Most of the folk I knew who were willing to help
have now moved on. I asked, repeatedly, for this list to be created so we
all had a meeting point to discuss accessibility issues and agree on code
changes to add to trac. The intention was that we would submit patches to
fix issues that were identified.  Sadly, the mailing list took time to get
approved and people sort of drifted away.

There have been several offers of help through this list, some of which had
no replies. While I agree that this list might as well be closed I also feel
that something needs to be done to point people towards the accessibility
working group. Some of the people who need an accessible WordPress are
unable to use trac so without clear direction as to where they may
contribute their input will be lost.

There also, in my opinion, needs to be a closer relationship between the UI
group and the team creating the default themes. Each of these groups is
undertaking work that is making WordPress less accessible. Interaction
between the groups would lead to a better result. Accessibility isn't
something that can be tacked on, nor is it something that can be done as a
workaround after the UI and themes are developed. If these are designed with
accessibility in mind from the outset it will save everyone a lot of work
(assuming accessibility is a goal).

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