[theme-reviewers] (no subject)

Joe Dolson design at joedolson.com
Thu Sep 27 20:01:33 UTC 2012

So, this is my first post to the theme-reviewers list, so I hope I'm
proposing this in the best possible place.

I've been in a number of discussions with people in the Accessibility
and the WordPress communities about the need to improve accessibility
in WordPress themes -- or, more specifically, improve the ability to
locate accessible WordPress themes which have had vetting beyond an
authorial claim of accessibility.

I know that the theme review team hardly has the time to review what
they already do, let alone add an accessibility review -- and as much
as I'd like it, I don't think that we're ready to impose accessibility
as a requirement in order to publish a theme -- it wouldn't be
practical or realistic.

I'd like to propose a way to improve the ability to find quality
themes by establishing a team, working to a standard set of
guidelines, which could review themes in the theme repository after
they have been approved. This team would have the mission of assigning
or removing accessibility related tags from themes.

This review team, tasked with identifying and labeling accessible
themes, would create an imposition that the 'accessible' tag and
related tags would be controlled. Authors could self label as
accessible, but if it didn't meet review, the tag could be removed.

At least at this early stage, it could be a pretty straightforward triage:

1) If theme tagged with accessible, a11y, wcag, etc. it gets a review to verify
2) Popular themes should be reviewed.
3) Other themes could be reviewed as time allowed or by request.

I would be happy to head up the process of establishing guidelines for
reviewing themes and participate in the review and tagging of themes
-- or to provide expert assistance to anybody else who wanted to take
this on.

Obviously, this is largely my own concept, and can and should be
modified to best fit the WordPress theme review workflow; which I'll
admit to being more than a little ignorant about.

I don't want to create a substantial burden on either theme developers
or reviewers, but any incremental progress in improving the ability to
identify accessible WordPress themes in a consistent manner would be

Joe Dolson
(Accessibility consultant and WordPress plug-in developer)

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