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WordPress Accessibility Team

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve written a great deal about WordPress, and we’ve also tried to emphasize the importance of accessibility, the need to make digital (and other) environments as usable as possible to the widest range of people possible. In a combination of these two topics, a couple of weeks ago, I drew your attention to the handy-dandy WordPress Accessibility Plugin, an almost-all-in-one tool for making your WordPress installs more accessible. Just this week, I saw the following announcement (from @WPAccessibility on Twitter):

If you are interested in learning more, the following links are a good place to start:

  • Get Involved with the Make WordPress Accessible Team: “This page explains a bit about what the team does, and how you can help by getting involved.”
  • Guidelines: Accessibility (Draft): “The Theme Accessibility Audit provides an optional theme review for themes submitted to the wordpress.org Theme Repository. Submitted themes (or theme updates) that contain the tag accessibility-ready will undergo an independent, accessibility review after they have been approved for inclusion in the Theme Repository.”
  • WordPress > Codex > Accessibility: Easy-to-understand, user-friendly explanations of the steps you can take to ensure the accessibility of your WordPress site.
  • Useful Tools: Links to plugins, development tools, and validators

Finally, there is a weekly IRC chat devoted to these issues:

Where: #wordpress-ui
When: Wednesdays, 19:00 UTC

These developments are great news that will, with any luck, help make more accessible the software that runs WordPress sites, and the themes that are used for their design. Accessibility should not be an afterthought: rather, the core, default code for content management systems like WordPress should be as accessible as possible right out of the box.

How about you? What steps do you take with your WordPress sites to make sure they are accessible? Alternately, what challenges have you encountered in doing so? Please share in the comments.

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