WordCamp US logo and text "Nashville 2018, A11y takeaways.

Takeaways from the WordCamp US Accessibility Hackathon

My colleague Stephen Mathieson and I were lucky enough to be invited to participate in the WordPress WordCamp US Accessibility Hackathon in Tennessee this weekend. Joining the accessibility team and WP core developers during contributor day was an exciting and critical step in improving the accessibility of WordPress.

Thanks to Rian Rietveld, Aaron Campbell, John Blackbourn, Joe McGill, Jenny Wong, and everyone else who helped make this event possible.

25 developers sit at a long table, each with their laptops, working on various WordPress accessibility projects. Ten developers in the foreground huddled, working with Deque’s axe.
25 developers sit at a long table, each with their laptops, working on various WordPress accessibility projects. Ten developers in the foreground huddled, working with Deque’s axe.

While there is a lot of social media and community discussion about the accessibility of the WordPress platform at large, it was great to sit side-by-side with prominent contributors and start making a difference. Deque is committed to furthering the progress of accessibility for all web and mobile apps, including WordPress sites.

What we accomplished

At the end of Contributor day, project leaders report to the larger group on progress made. Joe McGill represented the accessibility group here. Image credit Aaron Campbell.
At the end of Contributor day, project leaders report to the larger group on progress made. Joe McGill represented the accessibility group here. Image credit Aaron Campbell.

Here is a breakdown of what the team accomplished:

  1. We released an early integration with puppeteer (axe-puppeteer) to be able to leverage in time for the contributor day. https://www.npmjs.com/package/axe-puppeteer
  2. Stephen integrated axe-puppeteer into the Gutenberg project’s end-to-end (e2e) tests to generate a report of the issues whenever the e2e tests are run. There is a pull request to integrate these changes into their code base https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/12743.
  3. Contributors Kelly Dwan and Ned Zimmerman started a project to create an environment to allow theme creators to easily test their themes using axe https://gist.github.com/greatislander/af4b798ec7a1fe090e8c3557f8b73848.
  4. Kelly also created a branch in her fork of the twentynineteen theme (https://github.com/ryelle/twentynineteen/tree/add/axe-puppeteer-jest/) to use Jest and axe to test the theme while Ned worked on setting up the Docker environment to run these tests.
  5. I fixed a focus management problem with their image block and submitted a pull request to the Gutenberg project https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/12746.

There is much work still to be done but this is a start! If I missed any progress made, please let me know and I’ll update the list.

 

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