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WordPress and Web Accessibility - 2013


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Presentation delivered at WordCamp UK - July 2013.

There has been some progress on the accessibility of the WordPress admin screens in the last year. But there are some changes that weren't so welcome. In this presentation I talk about what's happened, and look at some ideas for a strategy to try to ensure WordPress becomes as accessible as possible.

Published in: Technology, Design
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WordPress and Web Accessibility - 2013

  1. 1. Coolfields Consulting @coolfields WordPress and Web Accessibility: Where we‟ve got to, and where to next Graham Armfield Web Accessibility Consultant WordPress Developer @coolfields
  2. 2. What I‟m Going to Cover • Recap on last year‟s presentation • What happened afterwards • What shouldn‟t have happened • The future of WordPress and accessibility 2
  3. 3. Coolfields Consulting @coolfields Brief recap from last year What was all the fuss about?
  4. 4. Recap on last year‟s presentation • Slides are still available - • What is accessibility, and why it‟s important • Types of disability, issues and assistive technology • A snapshot of WP accessibility • WordPress core • What theme and plugin developers can do • What content authors can do • Problems identified with WP admin screens 4
  5. 5. Accessibility problems with WP admin screens in 3.4 Summary • Many, many links – including seemingly empty ones • Tab order didn‟t always make sense • Some big problems for anyone who can‟t use a mouse • Keyboard focus not always visible Logging out • Not possible without a mouse • No visible log-out link 5
  6. 6. Accessibility problems with WP admin screens in 3.4 Adding and editing posts and pages • Accessing tool bar • Adding images • Tab order issues • Lack of help/instructions Widgets and screen options • Accessibility options are provided for manipulating widgets • But screen options were difficult to find for blind users • Lack of clear instructions 6
  7. 7. Accessibility problems with WP admin screens in 3.4 Custom menu builder • Keyboard operability not good • Could add items to menu… • But could not manipulate hierarchy • Could tab to items… • But no useful audible feedback for screen readers • Lack of meaningful help or instructions - especially for those with cognitive issues 7
  8. 8. Accessibility problems with WP admin screens in 3.4 Theme customizer • Keyboard operability very difficult – inc for screen readers • Couldn‟t tab into panel • Focus not easy to follow • Tab order could be better • Selecting colours 8
  9. 9. Coolfields Consulting @coolfields What happened afterwards Good things… and some not so good things
  10. 10. What happened afterwards during 10
  11. 11. Loads of accessibility trac tickets Current status: 11
  12. 12. 6 Progress on key issues 12 Issue Fix? Release Theme Customizer All keyboard operable including colour picker. VR use not so easy. 3.5 Custom Menu Builder Improvements for screen reader users and partially for VR users. 3.6?? Links Skip links now present, but only visible when receive focus. Many redundant links removed. 3.5 Log out without a mouse Log out link appears when receives focus, but still not permanently visible. 3.5 Visible focus Much better in most places. 3.5 Labels for input fields in page/post lists (eg search/select all) Much better. 3.5 Screen options Much easier for screen reader users to find and use. 3.5 Accessibility of quick edit panel Not yet. ??? Tab order not logical Much better. 3.5 And there are others… 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 6
  13. 13. Acknowledgements So a lot was achieved in 3.5 and significant progress made • Thanks go to all those WP developers who got involved and actually made the changes that were specified. @lessbloat, @sabreuse, @azaozz, @mattwiebe, @MikeLittle, @SergeyBiryukov – and anyone I‟ve missed • Also to Andrew Nacin who was the project lead on 3.5 and who was keen to ensure that as many accessibility improvements as possible were included. 13
  14. 14. What happened next • I contributed more to the Make WordPress Accessible Group • Other new people joined the group and contributed as they saw that things were happening • There is now a regular weekly IRC chat for accessibility • Reworked accessibility page within the WP codex • New accessibility theme review guidelines 14
  15. 15. What happened next So, everything‟s going along swimmingly? We‟re there aren‟t we? Well no, it‟s not all good news… 15 J L
  16. 16. Add media panel 16 Something the accessibility team missed – new functionality in 3.5
  17. 17. Add media panel • No labelling of the media for screen readers if you could get to them • All media in one block could mean hard work getting to the Attachment Details frame 17 • Can‟t be used without a mouse – no way to tab to the media
  18. 18. Add media panel status • Trac tickets raised in February, but no action for ages • Eventually, Dave Martin (aka @lessbloat) gave up some time to try an interim solution using advanced ARIA techniques • Not a perfect solution, but a better experience for keyboard users, and users of newer screen readers • Unfortunately I believe the fix has been pulled from 3.6 18 L L J J
  19. 19. Coolfields Consulting @coolfields The future of WordPress and accessibility A roadmap for the future… and making it happen
  20. 20. WordPress for the world 20
  21. 21. Make WordPress accessible group • • We are few • We are all volunteers (AFAIK) • Have to juggle our WP a11y effort alongside our client work 21
  22. 22. Make WordPress accessible group • Being totally responsible for the accessibility of WordPress is not really feasible • And it will not bring about change fast enough to include some groups of people in the WordPress „experience‟ for the foreseeable future – if ever 22
  23. 23. The „Us‟ and „Them‟ of accessibility Being the „accessibility guy‟ doesn‟t always make you popular • We are the people who only find fault • We are the people who only say “No, not like that” • But I don‟t believe that any of the WordPress accessibility group want that role • We want to be a resource. To help and to bring about change 23
  24. 24. The situation has to change • WordPress can‟t go on just retrospectively applying sticking plaster solutions to new functionality that is inaccessible • It takes too long • It also leads to poor, half-baked solutions that don‟t work for everyone and can be hard to maintain • Accessibility has to be considered at all stages – design, build, testing • Which means everyone has to be involved 24
  25. 25. Design with accessibility in mind Early proposals for showing post revisions in 3.6 25
  26. 26. Build/test with accessibility in mind Early proposals for showing post revisions 26 Can I tab to all these links and images? Do these form fields have labels? Is the colour contrast sufficient? How do these images describe themselves to screen readers? Will I know if they are selected? Can I tab easily from images to attachment details? How would I access these with voice recognition? Does all users know what‟s expected of them here?
  27. 27. An accessibility strategy for WordPress? Currently being debated on Make WordPress Accessible… • An accessibility statement • Further development of coding and style guidelines for accessibility • Providing resources • Development of outreach programs for WordPress developers • Improving communication • Theme and plugin reviews • Appointing an accessibility lead • Growing the accessibility group 27
  28. 28. Other people are doing it 28
  29. 29. Like to get involved? We‟d love your thoughts Make WordPress Accessible Codex page on accessibility Theme guidelines: accessibility Other ideas… 29
  30. 30. Thanks for listening – any questions? @coolfields 30
  31. 31. Resources 1 • WCAG Guidelines - WARNING: Not all easy reading, but use the „Understanding WCAG‟ section • Accessibility sites and blogs (including my own) • Webaim - • Accessify Forum - • WebAxe - • Coolfields (my own) - (including many guides to correct markup of forms, text for screen readers only, etc) • ARIA techniques • Mozilla Dev Network - US/docs/Accessibility/ARIA 31
  32. 32. Resources 2 • Validators and accessibility tools • Markup validator - • Wave - • Colour contrast analyser - analyser.html • NVDA - • Useful Firefox Add-ons • Fangs (screen reader emulator) • HTML Validator • Web Developer toolbar There is no tool that can fully test for accessibility automatically – so much is about context. 32
  33. 33. Resources 3 • Other Useful sites • Keyboard accessible dropdowns – Technique now adapted into WordPress plugin - • HTML5 and Accessibility - • Subtitle Horse - • Amara (Universal Subtitles) - 33