15 Comments

  1. bradparbs

    Quite a few people already use _s as their starter theme. Seems to me that the best way to get accessibility to be a priority for theme developers is making sure that _s is the most accessible theme there is.

    By creating a parent theme, there is the risk of people just simply not using it. I think accessibility is important, so why not make sure the resources for it are in a place that most people use?

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    • robhadfield

      I agree Brad – this should be a starter theme not a parent.

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    • David A. Kennedy

      _s is fairly solid when it comes to accessibility basics, and meets most of the accessibility-ready requirements. Some, like color contrast, we can’t meet because _s is a starter theme that we never know what will become of it until someone makes something awesome.

      The last big piece that could be better is headings. We have a long-open pull request for it that we need to work on as a community. Of course, I bet we can find more ways to improve its accessibility. As Ian mentioned below, we welcome newcomers and pull requests.

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  2. Rob Neu (@rob_neu)

    I’m glad to see that more people are working on making WordPress themes accessible. I would also like to point out that the Flagship Compass starter theme is and has been accessibility-ready since it was released and I’m aware of at least one site built on it that is 100% WCAG 2AA compliant.

    Rian Rietveld, who is a member of the core accessibility team, did a full audit of our theme before we released it and also contributed some a11y enhancements to our mobile menu. I’m sure there are areas where it could be improved, but to be honest there hasn’t been a ton of interest in a11y stuff from developers using it, so we don’t really know where the weaknesses are.

    If they really want to push accessibility out to more sites built on WordPress, I think Brad is right. Working with the underscores team to improve a11y will probably be much more effective than creating a new starter theme.

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    • Rafa Poveda

      And again, we agree with you.

      In our plan, using _s as the start point was the first thing. If we are funded, we’ll do as you say.

      Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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  3. raghavendrasatishraghavendra satish peri

    Very interesting project, looking forward for this. I am more interested in the woo commerce accessibility….

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  4. Rafa Poveda

    I agree with you all that a starter theme makes much more sense that a parent theme. Our fist idea was to work in the theme with _s as a starter, so making a starter theme based on _s is something not only to take in account, but to assume as the way we need to work.

    We have updated our kickstarter with this info. Ideas are welcome, we still have 29 days to get more ideas, so don’t hesitate to share them with us, here or in kickstarter.

    Thank you all.

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    • Ian Stewart

      > Our fist idea was to work in the theme with _s as a starter, so making a starter theme based on _s is something not only to take in account, but to assume as the way we need to work.

      Or fold it down into even fewer steps? :) The more PRs the better at https://github.com/Automattic/_s

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      • Rafa Poveda

        I see your point :) I’m already watching _s repository and have themes developed with _s, but the point to kickstarter is that we want to develop something, and we don’t have the time if we are working in other fields, or we don’t have the money if we are not working. So we are looking for support for that.

        If it gets funded, you’ll receive for sure Pull Requests to _s, as well as we will use WordPress trac and the knowledge of the accessibility team of the WP Community to propose and work in tickets in the WP core if the problem to solve cannot be solved only with the theme. We are going to be in the accessibility team on WCEU Contributor Day to talk with them. Reality is that we published our Kickstarter to have the URL to promotion it and that we wanted to talk with people in WordCamp Europe before promoting. Being in WPTavern has been a (great) surprise for us, and we, for sure, want to make a Community work here for the benefit of everyone.

        We are not willing to work against the things that already exists. That’s not how you use the GPL ^_^.

        We just have an idea, we think that we can make it a reality, and we have a team which has been working with a thesis in accessibility and UX for blind people. We want to share our knowledge with the world, and learn a lot in the journey. And make even more than a starter theme if we have the funds (which will give us the time that we need to do it).

        Again, thanks for the comments and ideas :)

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        • David A. Kennedy

          If you end up creating the theme, I’d encourage you to blog about your experience. Talk about what you learned along the way, and how the experience changed you, etc. The accessibility community in general needs more designers and developers talking about accessibility in an open, honest way. More than anything else, in my opinion. :)

          A few other seeds I’ll plant:

          Join the WordPress Accessibility team, we’d love to have you!

          If you have patterns you use in the theme that you’d like to share, we’ll take pull requests here: https://github.com/wpaccessibility/a11ythemepatterns It’s a set of patterns for building accessible themes that the WordPress Accessibility team is leading.

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          • Rafa Poveda

            Hello, David.

            A project is not complete if it’s not documented. I’ll blog about the process, and not only about creating the theme. I’m learning a lot about kickstarter and how a project can have a lot of repercussion and promotion, and how this does not translate into financial support. Funded or not in the end, it’s been a great experience.

            I have been reading the Accessibility team for a while, but my old job did not allow me to work in anything else. I hope to be more involved in the immediate future and learn a lot about how do you do everything.

            As said before, all shall be shared.

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  5. Tomas M.

    Although it is a nice goal to have AAA theme, but event accessibility experts agree that AA is a practical goal, because it is hard to achieve beautiful outcomes with AAA rules.

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    • Rafa Poveda

      The idea here is a bit different.

      As we have a responsive theme that changes when you change to a mobile phone or a tablet, why don’t make a beautiful and responsive theme change when in a screen reader to achieve AAA rules?

      That’s our goal here :)

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  6. Jeffr0

    The funding goal was not reached :(

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