[theme-reviewers] Accessible theme issues

Joe Dolson design at joedolson.com
Fri Sep 28 15:11:04 UTC 2012

I fully agree with Mel on this point -- I had been just nervous about
providing a means to claim AAA, but in fact it's probably unwise to
support a method of claiming any specific level of accessibility at
all; at best, all a theme can practically be is accessibility enabled:
we can't stop the user from breaking that level of accessibility.


On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 10:06 AM, esmi at quirm dot net <esmi at quirm.net> wrote:
> on 28/09/2012 14:44 Edward Caissie said the following:
>> Perhaps three tags: Accessibility-A, Accessibility-AA,
>> and Accessibility-AAA? Just some food for thought ...
> As much as I'd love for that to happen, I would be very wary of implementing
> that.
> As I've mentioned previously, I think we have to be very careful not to
> "over sell" accessible themes to non-technical site owners. I wouldn't want
> someone to think that, because a theme is labelled Accessibility-AAA, then
> that's all they have to do in that direction. Far from it. Choosing the
> right theme is only the beginning. Site authors then have to commit time and
> care to their content to maintain any level of accessibility [1].
> Secondly, under WCAG 2.0, you cannot use A, AA or AAA without also having
> content and providing a shed load of documentation. So I think anything that
> correlates directly to WCAG Levels should be avoided at all costs.
> Instead, just a generic "accessible" or "accessibility-reviewed" advisory
> tag should be used. All that tag should ever imply is that said theme passed
> an audit (carried out by the MWA group) using the published accessibility
> criteria (to be created, published & maintained by the the same group) using
> the Theme Unit Test Data. No more. Those with the requite knowledge can then
> check the access review criteria to determine what, if any, further changes
> they might want to make to the theme itself. Non-technical site owners, in
> the meantime, can feel reassured that they've got off to the right start.
> In terms of the actual levels of access, I'm thinking of all of Level A
> checkpoints (which is actually not that hard to achieve) plus some of the
> more important AA points. We need to make this achievable without a massive
> learning curve and ensure that WPORG doesn't inadvertently make claims that
> it cannot back up.
> Mel
> [1] And we're working on that too. The Codex Accessibility page has been
> completely rewritten and there's an intro type page currently being drafted
> for the new User Manual at <http://make.wordpress.org/support/>
> --
> http://quirm.net
> http://blackwidows.co.uk
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Joseph Dolson
Accessibility consultant and WordPress developer

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