WordPress Theme Review Team Initiates New Long Term Plan to Make All WordPress.org Themes Accessible

The wordpress Theme Review Group (TRT) met as of late and agreed to place unique accessibility requirements in space for themes hosted within the obedient directory. These consist of among the items which would possibly well be required for theme authors who are making an try so as to add the accessibility-ready mark. A handful of these requirements will soon be added to the not unique requirements for all themes. The preliminary focus will most likely be on items that carry out not occupy a principal visible influence on a theme’s build, because the crew anticipates some pushback from designers.

“We’ve long made the argument that WCAG can’t without drawback be applied to a theme which has no whisper material; I don’t affirm we are making an try to interrupt that,” Accessibility crew member Joe Dolson stated. “For the plot of theme making an try out, I possess it’s soundless better to target a personalized enviornment of standards which would possibly well be whisper material-self reliant. But if we are in a position to incorporate the principal four items within the pointers, I’d be huge tickled. The relaxation of the factors, whereas crucial, are tougher to evaluate and put into effect, and occupy greater influence on build.”

The Theme Review Group has agreed to launch gradually rolling out unique accessibility pointers every other month whereas teaching developers to back them salvage on board. The key requirement will most likely be Skip Links, followed by the opposite three which would possibly well be outlined within the Theme Review Handbook:

  • Skip Links
    Issues must consist of a mechanism that allows users to navigate directly to whisper material or navigation on getting into any given page. These hyperlinks would be positioned off screen firstly but ought to be accessible to screen reader users and ought to be visible on focus for sighted keyboard navigators.
  • Keyboard Navigation
    Theme authors must provide visible keyboard focus highlighting in navigation menus and for tag fields, post buttons and textual whisper material hyperlinks. All controls and hyperlinks ought to be reachable the usage of the keyboard.
  • Controls
    All theme facets that behave as buttons or hyperlinks must use button, enter, or a components, to be obvious native keyboard accessibility and interaction with screen reader accessibility APIs.
    All controls must furthermore occupy machine-readable textual whisper material to show the nature of the regulate.
  • Beget Labeling
    Comment forms must occupy appropriate enviornment labels and all whisper material within tag tags must be explicitly associated to a tag regulate. Put up-submission responses (errors or confirmations) ought to be perceivable. In the event you would possibly well also very well be the usage of the default wordpress grunt or search forms, these pass the accessibility-ready standards.

“The changed requirement wouldn’t encompass the total accessibility-ready requirements to be show on the not unique themes, nor would it not automatically salvage them accessibility-ready, but by incorporating one after the other requirements, by longer time length, the root is to attend theme authors to write accessible themes out of the sphere,” TRT member Denis Žoljom stated.

The crew is furthermore re-examining the efficacy of the Relied on Authors program and whether or not there would possibly be proof for discontinuing it. They’re eager on doing away with the child theme queue, which used to be incentivizing authors to post more child themes for the rationale that queue moves faster than the in model one.

Imposing stricter accessibility requirements for wordpress.org themes is one suggestion that theme authors mentioned over the weekend as a doable response to WordPress.org’s rising drawback with crippleware. The expectation is that stricter requirements would shorten the queue of themes ready for overview and perhaps even motivate companies to make investments in accessibility making an try out to enhance that route of. While it would possibly possibly well also not occupy an instantaneous influence on theme companies’ skill to form crippleware, it makes the barrier for entry greater so that reviewers occupy more time to specialize in improvements to the directory and the overview route of.

The unique accessibility requirements will note to all themes hosted on wordpress.org, not correct unique ones getting into the directory. Reward themes will most likely be anticipated to meet the necessities as they pass by the overview route of for updates. On the opposite hand, the crew would possibly well not be actively making an try down worn themes to suspend them. This day’s decision marks a truly crucial turning point that has the doable to occupy a ripple carry out across the total theme alternate, as wordpress.org sets the not unique for theme development. These unique requirements give legs to wordpress’ dedication to accessibility in what TRT member Justin Tadlock called “a crAMPed but principal step toward accessibility for all within the directory.”