[theme-reviewers] Managing the Accessibility-Ready tag

Joe Dolson design at joedolson.com
Mon Jan 20 21:51:35 UTC 2014

 I think Esmi's point is very valid - if a theme is stuck because of a
tardy accessibility review, there's no reason it couldn't drop the tag, be
approved, and come back for that stage in a later version.


On Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 3:47 PM, esmi at quirm dot net <esmi at quirm.net>wrote:

> on 20/01/2014 21:13 Otto said the following:
>  - Should a theme having the accessibility-ready tag, but having some
>> accessibility problems, be sufficient reason for not-approved, at this
>> moment in time?
> No. But neither should a theme be approved and made live with an
> accessibility-ready tag if it has not undergone an a11y review.
>  In short, do we actually have enough reviewers capable of performing
>> an accessibility review to make this a mandatory requirement?
> Absolutely not at this stage. Nor do I think theme development in general
> is at a stage where an a11y requirement should be mandatory even if we had
> the necessary reviewers. The last thing we want to do is constrain
> developers who want to submit themes. What we would *like* to do is
> encourage developers to start thinking about accessible themes. We should
> also be offering those who do already create such themes the option to
> highlight this positive feature. Ditto for those searching for
> accessibility-ready themes
>  Do we  have a document to teach people how to perform such a review?
> No and such a document would take quite a while to create as, unlike many
> parts of the standard Theme Review, the logic isn't always binary.
>  Do we have written standards?
> Yes. <http://make.wordpress.org/themes/guidelines/guidelines-
> accessibility/>
>  Better yet, can those standards be turned into
>> objective tests that we can add to Theme-Check?
> The guidelines mentioned above are about as objective as a11y gets but I
> don't think there's *any* way to turn them into tests for the Theme Check.
> I don't think there's any script that could check for colour contrasts and
> look for repetitive non-contextual text strings (to name just 2 points).
> That's why a11y parsers are so crude and sometimes mis-leading compared to
> (say) the W3C HTML validator. It's really a job that needs human judgement
> due to all that dang non-binary stuff.
>  The field of accessibility seems a bit subjective to me. I have read
>> the documents and all the stuff at the make blog on the topic, and I
>> still feel that I would not be qualified to determine what is
>> "accessible" or not.
> You are not alone. :-) A colleague of mine with a PhD in parallel
> programming once described a11y auditing as akin to "plaiting fog".
>  We need some form of standards and people willing to review to those
>> standards in order to make this sort of thing a "required" step.
>> Otherwise we end up with people stuck in the queue forever because
>> nobody's around to do the review for them.
> Not necessarily. If a theme is "stuck" because it uses the
> accessibility-ready tag and there's no one around to review it within (say)
> 7 days, the theme author could be given the option of removing the tag so
> that the theme could be pushed live. The theme could then be re-submitted
> at a later date with the accessibility-ready tag added back in again for an
> a11y review.
> Thoughts?
> Mel
> --
> http://quirm.net
> http://blackwidows.co.uk
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Joseph Dolson
Accessibility consultant & WordPress developer
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