WordPress.org Support Forums Adds Accessibility Section

Earlier this year, the WordPress project made a huge move by adopting accessibility coding standards for new and updated code. If you’re struggling to meet WCAG 2.0 guidelines in your WordPress projects and need help, check out the new Accessibility section in the WordPress.org support forums.

WordPress Accessibility Support
WordPress Accessibility Support

Amanda Rush, who helps WordPress developers make their themes and plugins accessible, says the forum is the result of a conversation with a support team member at WordCamp Atlanta.

“I mentioned that part of what makes the job difficult when it comes to making WordPress accessible is stopping during our work to answer occasional questions.

“Most of the time the answer is not a quick one, because in the case of screen reader users, you have to first find out how well they can use their tech, how familiar they are with WordPress itself, and if neither of those chances are high, you spend time giving them a crash course in either one or both, and then answer their question,” Rush said.

Most of the people on the WordPress Accessibility team are volunteers with full-time jobs which limits their ability to provide one-on-one support. Many of the support queries come through email or direct messages to individuals on the team. The forum enables everyone to participate in the support process.

“If people ask their questions publicly, I or others not necessarily on the Accessibility Team can answer, and the answers are then public,” Rush said.

“We have a pattern library on GitHub, which we all contribute to when we have time. But there are all kinds of solutions being passed around on Twitter and spread across other people’s GitHub accounts. So if someone asks a question like that, we can either point to something in specific cases, which is most of them, there’s probably already a specific solution that someone’s built, and we can link to that,” Rush told the Tavern.

The accessibility support forum also comes with a side benefit, “We don’t have to say no all the time when people ask for support, or what looks like all the time to some people. Everyone can help each other out and Google has a public resource,” Rush said.

The support forum comes at a time where accessibility is an increasingly important part of web development. For example, the European Union recently agreed to new rules that will make public sector websites and apps more accessible.

If you have any questions related to accessibility, you can post them on the forum. If you have experience and knowledge in the accessibility field, consider answering questions as it’s a great way to contribute to the WordPress project.


5 responses to “WordPress.org Support Forums Adds Accessibility Section”

  1. Actually, everyone on the accessibility team is volunteering their time outside of work. And it’s definitely more than five percent. :)

  2. Thanks Jeff. There is actually one Automattic employee on the a11y team, but that employee isn’t specifically volunteered by Automattic to work on accessibility. Yeah, that probably adds more confusion to the issue.

  3. This is awesome news. Some theme creators I know are updating there old themes to be more Accessibility friendly and there new ones. Every designer should do this including custom designs they create. This new section will help these developers craft there skills or find solutions to issues they are having

    I can draw a nice stick figure in PAINT and not a designer for sure. lol

    Before I log off for a few hours right now. I’m going to mention this news to my social media followers. Bye for now.

  4. I personally never saw “accessibility” as being a separate part of the design process, so I’m kinda puzzled about all the “on-going effort” and kinda hype of this topic.

    In an ideal world, nobody would to have point out that eg. “light grey text on white background” is rather unreadable, both on crappy, oversaturated notebook screens and for folks with bad eyesight. Also nobody would have to run around and invent stuff like ARIA-labels. Sadly, we dont live in an ideal world ..

    So its a good thing to point folks to, esp. when it comes to stuff like “why would we need THAT?! That makes my site look less cool!” *stomps around the room like Rumpelstiltskin*
    Thus, looking forward to not having to repeat myself over and over again :)

    cu, w0lf.


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