[wp-hackers] Accessibility of WP back end (was: Is WP back end supposed to work without JavaScript?)

Jennifer Hodgdon yahgrp at poplarware.com
Fri May 1 15:32:30 GMT 2009

Not being an expert, I did a little research on the web about 
Accessibility (for people with disabilities) and JavaScript. There's 
an excellent (if somewhat long) series of articles here:
and a summary here:

There are two guidelines for accessibility -- two sets of standards:
    1) WCAG - international W3C guidelines - requires functionality 
and content of web pages to be accessible if JS is disabled.
    2) Section 508 - (US law) - requires that if JS is used, it is 
accessible to assistive technologies, and that the web page not 
require the use of a specific input device such as a mouse (so all 
content and functionality needs to be accessible using a keyboard 
without resorting to the mouse).

Neither of those guidelines works at all with the Edit Post page in 
the WP back end. Try using the tab key to navigate around the page 
sometime -- quite illuminating! You definitely cannot get to all of 
the functionality, it's in some random order, and there is no visual 
cue (such as a:active CSS) to show you what link you are over when 
you're on the left sidebar. With JS turned off, as I mentioned in my 
previous note, you can't do Tags or Media at all.

So what are WP's official Accessibility standards for the back end, if 


Jennifer Hodgdon * Poplar ProductivityWare
Drupal, WordPress, and custom Web programming

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