[theme-reviewers] Accessible theme issues

esmi at quirm dot net esmi at quirm.net
Fri Sep 28 12:04:05 UTC 2012

on 28/09/2012 00:55 Bryan Hadaway said the following:
> My point was that many people do not know how to do that, they just
> want to make a cool theme (as best they can adhering to the current
> requirements

I think you may be under estimating the level of accessibility knowledge
that is now beginning to creep into general web design. Wander around
the forums and see the responses to questions like:

"How can I have music playing as soon as my site opens?"
"How do I force a link to open in a new window?"
"How do I disable right-click?"

All accessibility issues and all answered by forum volunteers (other
than me, for a change) who politely try to point out these issues. So
we're getting well beyond the "Blind people don't use web sites" myth
these days.

Secondly,there are some people who want to make a cool, accessible,
theme. Since those who make seasonal or photoblogging themes get to tag
their themes appropriately, why can't these developers have the same option?

Finally, if people want to make a cool theme and couldn't give a damn
about accessibility - fine. More good themes = more choice in the theme
repo. This is being suggested as an *optional* extra for those that want it.

> It just seems too difficult in my eyes to implement anything official
> on this in any capacity,

Sorry but that's rubbish! If that was the case, why was
<http://make.wordpress.org/accessibility/> recently formed? There is a
definite commitment within core to make WordPress as accessible as
possible. Why shouldn't this be extended beyond core? Again, allow me to
reiterate that nothing mandatory is being suggested here. Also an access
audit would be no more difficult to put together than a theme review.
Both Joe & I have done this before - very successfully.

> though I think your ideas are good, which is why I think you should
> do something yourself unofficially either way. A compelling article
> would be good, have you submitted this idea officially here (not
> entirely sure if that would be appropriate):
> http://wordpress.org/extend/ideas/forum/accessibility

For now, don't bother. That section of Ideas is over-run with ideas that
haven't even the remotest connection with accessibility. And it can't be
sorted out. Already had a brief chat about that. :-(

Both Joe & I are members of <http://make.wordpress.org/accessibility/> 
and we think that there might be an opportunity for this group to 
highlight accessible themes in the Repo. But if there isn't some sort of 
tie-in with the Theme Review itself, we're just going to end up 
muttering to ourselves over in the corner.

And now I'm off to defend WP's commitment to accessibility to a group of 
access gurus who are convinced that it's all just lip service. *sigh*


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