[theme-reviewers] Help to Review in Child Theme - Accessibility Ready Theme

Joe Dolson design at joedolson.com
Mon Jul 21 21:42:31 UTC 2014

It would really depend on the theme. Some issues are actually very simple
to handle via filters, minor CSS changes, enqueuing a little extra JS, etc.
Others are more complex, and would require some pretty significant updates.

But really, for most themes, a11y compliance is not that complicated or
complex. For some of the really complicated themes? Yeah, that could be
difficult. But it's certainly very feasible to fix a theme via a child

If a developer forks a theme in order to add accessibility, but doesn't
change the essential appearance of the theme, they won't be able to submit
it to the repo. If they do the same thing via a child theme, that would be
less of an issue; the need for uniqueness is significantly lower for child

I think it's entirely reasonable to allow it, although I don't expect it to
be a big issue.

Whether it's the best choice for a developer to make is a different issue -
if there are just a few issues to fix, submitting patches to the theme
developer would definitely be a better choice, on the whole. If it's a huge
project, a child theme may not be practical. But if a developer is
non-responsive to patches and issues, well, that limits choices.

I'm actually more concerned about the child themes of accessibility-ready
themes -- I've seen a fair number of submissions of Twenty Fourteen child
themes that copied the accessibility-ready tag from the parent theme, but
broke the accessibility of the theme. There's really no guarantees either


On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 4:31 PM, Edward Caissie <edward.caissie at gmail.com>

> On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 12:41 PM, Joe Dolson <design at joedolson.com> wrote:
>> I'm not sure that's true, actually - if a child theme wants to add
>> accessibility features and correct accessibility issues in a parent theme,
>> I don't see any reason that wouldn't be allowed.
> Perhaps I'm not understanding the scope of accessibility ... I would
> suspect if the Parent-Theme is not a11y compliant enough to be able to use
> the "accessibility" tag the Child-Theme would almost need to re-write every
> template file to accommodate the a11y requirements. Maybe the functions.php
> would not be affected but if everything else is, it would strike me as more
> feasible to fork the theme rather than create a Child-Theme in these cases.
> Again, I could just be seeing the scope of providing a11y compliance as
> too large, or more complex than what it is ... there is no reason
> specifically that a Child-Theme could not pick up the pieces, just doesn't
> seem likely to be done in my limited understanding of a11y.
> Edward Caissie
> aka Cais.
> _______________________________________________
> theme-reviewers mailing list
> theme-reviewers at lists.wordpress.org
> http://lists.wordpress.org/mailman/listinfo/theme-reviewers

Joseph Dolson
Accessibility consultant & WordPress developer
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