WordPress recently announced that version 6.0, scheduled for May 24, 2022, will feature a significant number of accessibility improvements that will make WordPress easier for users to use and bring it closer to WCAG 2.0 AA compliance.
WordPress maintains inclusiveness and accessibility as a primary goal”as much as possible” for all versions of WordPress.
In order to achieve this goal, WordPress has an in-house team that focuses on accessibility.
The WordPress accessibility statement notes:
“The WordPress community and the WordPress open source project are committed to being as inclusive and accessible as possible.
We want users, regardless of device or ability, to be able to post content and maintain a website or app built with WordPress.
Accessibility improvements in WordPress 6.0
WordPress previewed the many improvements coming to WordPress 6.0, currently scheduled for May 24, 2022.
An enhancement to the alt text used on the featured image is to use the post title as alt text when the featured image is linked to the post.
WordPress noted an addition that allows tabbing in a block placeholder.
The GitHub pull request describes this fix:
“When the focus is on a block with a placeholder (e.g. an Image or Columns block) and we’re in Edit mode, we should be able to tab into the placeholder controls.
This makes the placeholder controls keyboard accessible when the “Contain text cursor inside block” preference is enabled (arrow key navigation into or out of a block does not work with this preference).
It also allows you to tab into a block that only contains an insert block, such as an empty group block.
Screen reader improvements
A number of improvements are aimed at making it easier for editors who use screen readers to navigate blocks and get things done.
A particularly interesting fix is this: no error message is provided when typing incompletely in the tags administration screen. It was discovered during an accessibility audit that when a user leaves a required name field blank in the “tags” edit section, there is a color visual notice of an error but no actual error message was generated. This is fixed in WordPress version 6.0.
Another useful fix involves a flaw in how the toolbar works in iOS and a lack of text labels.
According to the GitHub pull request:
“When using VoiceOver on iOS, the link to open the ‘New’ drop-down menu in the toolbar reads as ‘post new.php’.
Accessibility fixes related to Aria for WordPress 6.0
RichText: reverse disableLineBreaks to determine aria-multiline state.
Remove role attributes on SVGs intended for “decoration”.
This is an improvement that one WordPress contributor called a small change that resulted in a big improvement. This is to add a role=”img” tag but without adding an aria tag to the SVGs. So they removed the role attribute, which solved the problem.
Navigation Block Improvements
The improvements to the navigation block are going to be welcomed by many.
For example, several of the fixes make it easier for screen reader users to understand situations where there are multiple navigation menu blocks, such as a top-level site navigation menu and a second-level menu for categories. , as well as improve UI feedback for screen readers when creating a new menu.
There are additional improvements to various other blocks, including adding an aria tag to the search button.
WordPress List View Improvements
The list view is a user interface for navigating through sections of content.
The list view interface is available via an icon at the top of the page in the WordPress toolbar.
Screenshot of the list view toggle button
Activating the icon via the toggle button reveals the drop-down menu which remains open during use.
WordPress has announced eight list view UI improvements which, among other things, improve the ability to select specific blocks, improve aria tags, improve keyboard controls and announcements while navigating in the list view and other improvements.
Media handling improvements
WordPress also introduces improvements in media management.
According to WordPress:
- “Preserve attachment properties when cropping custom logo. This means that an image’s alt text, title, description, and caption will migrate to the cropped copy of the image after cropping.
- Stop arrow keys from changing media if URL is targeted.
- Add a “Copy URL to clipboard” function to the list table view.
- Set a keyword on a sample permalink so that the full permalink is visible on mobile devices in posts, media, and comments.
- Remove target empty attribute from media uploader edit links.
- Remove target=”_blank” from the link to change the permalink structures and edit the link text to clarify the purpose of the link. »
Additional accessibility improvements
WordPress 6.0 also improves screen reader and keyboard functionality in quick/bulk edit, fixes issues with login and register buttons to add autocomplete values, but in a way which is not a security issue since the values are stored in the browser (more here).
Finally, various accessibility improvements have been made to the official WordPress themes:
- “Twenty Nineteen: Override flexible order as comment.
- Twenty Twenty: Turn search into a dialog role and fix aria-expanded handling to sync mobile and desktop buttons.
- Twenty Twenty-One: Reverse logic for reduced motion preferred media queries.
- Use the cursor pointer when hovering over the theme details button to ensure consistency with the theme map. »
WordPress 6.0 Accessibility
The WordPress Accessibility Team has put a lot of effort into making WordPress 6.0 accessible and inclusive, in line with its stated goal of making WordPress WCAG 2.0 AA compliant as much as possible.
Read the official WordPress announcement
WordPress 6.0 Accessibility Improvements