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

Chip Bennett chip at chipbennett.net
Mon Jul 21 21:51:36 UTC 2014

I think we should strive for the goal of accessibility becoming a commodity
rather than a feature. To that end, we should encourage accessibility
improvements to be contributed back upstream to the parent, rather than
segregating them in a Child Theme. Thus, I would suggest, for the purpose
of discussion/argument, that we consider only allowing the
"accessibility-ready" tag for Child Themes if the Parent Theme has the tag
as well.

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 4:42 PM, Joe Dolson <design at joedolson.com> wrote:

> 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
> theme.
> 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
> themes.
> 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
> way.
> Best,
> Joe
> On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 4:31 PM, Edward Caissie <edward.caissie at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> 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
> http://www.joedolson.com
> http://profiles.wordpress.org/joedolson
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> theme-reviewers mailing list
> theme-reviewers at lists.wordpress.org
> http://lists.wordpress.org/mailman/listinfo/theme-reviewers
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