Raising a WordPress Trac Ticket for Accessibility Issues

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Reading Time: 3 minutesAfter my presentation titled WordPress and Web Accessibility: Why It’s Important to the annual WordCamp UK get together in Edinburgh there was some debate about what could be done to improve the accessibility of WordPress – especially the back end.

Making WordPress core developers aware of the issues.

WordPress Trac Logo

One contributor at WordCamp UK made the very valid point that the WordPress developers probably wouldn’t address the accessibility issues if they didn’t know about them or understand them. He encouraged me and others who cared about accessibility to raise each issue that we found as a WordPress Trac Ticket so that the issues were placed within sight of the developers.

To me this sounds like a great idea, but I’d never raised one before – so how do you go about it?

Well here I present what I believe is the correct way to go about raising a new WordPress ticket or commenting on an existing ticket to add some context or propose a solution. Obviously if I’ve got it wrong then please let us all know.

Step 1 – Get a wordpress.org logon (if you don’t already have one)

Navigate to http://wordpress.org/support/ and click or action the Register button (top right for those who can see). Then fill out the form and submit – note not all the fields are required. When successfully submitted you should get an email with a password in it – suggest you change this when you first logon – go to Profile then Edit Profile.

Step 2 – Log in to Trac

Head over to http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ and login there using the same details you used at wordpress.org

Step 3 – Raise a trac or bug report

It’s always sensible to search the existing tickets to see whether the issue has always been raised. The WordPress developers won’t thank you for multiple bugs on the same issue. That said if there is a similar issue already there but it’s not quite the same then it’s a value call whether to comment on an existing ticket or raise a new one.

Reading this page might help – http://codex.wordpress.org/Reporting_Bugs

If you’re going ahead to add a new ticket then click on the New Ticket link near the top of the page and fill out the details. Please be as clear as possible – remember that the WordPress devs that pick up your ticket may know nothing about accessibility.

Accessibility is one of the options in the Component dropdown – but it’s obviously not the only option. I think it’s OK to record accessibility deficiencies as defects (bugs) rather than feature requests. The version dropdown should be set to whatever version of WordPress you’re running. Sensibly this would always be the latest one. You don’t need to put anything in the Owner field or change the keywords. Severity seems to be set to normal in a lot of the accessibility issues.

Step 4 – Commenting on existing tickets

I would encourage people to comment on existing tickets where they think it’s appropriate. Some WordPress developers may know very little about accessibility issues and/or may misunderstand what’s been reported. If developers have misunderstood the there is a chance that any fix may not address all the issues and/or provide a useful solution. Some developers may think it’s all about blind people and screen readers when of course we know there’s a lot more to accessibility than that.

The more people that pop up and say “I’ve noticed this too” or other comments on issues has got to generate some energy.

I was told that suggesting solutions would be a very helpful thing to do and could possible increase the chance of a ticket being addressed rather than left to languish in the pile.

So can you help?

I encourage all of you to raise Trac tickets for accessibility issues that you come across or add your thoughts in on pre-existing ones. Currently (July 2012) the work list for WordPress 3.5 is being determined. As I write this I have already raised one ticket and commented on one other and the latter one has already been flagged as to be included in 3.5.

I hope this helps – please let me know your comments.

Some other WordPress accessibility posts


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4 Responses to “Raising a WordPress Trac Ticket for Accessibility Issues”

  1. From: Heather Burns on July 17th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Graham, the highlight of WordCamp UK for me was watching how much passion you whipped up within the audience in the conference room. People got fired up about improving WordPress accessibility not because it’s a shiny feature, but because it’s the right thing to do. You can be very proud of that.

  2. From: Graham Armfield on July 17th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks so much for your comments Heather. It was certainly fantastic to get such a positive response back from the audience. It’s easy when your ‘preaching to the converted’ at accessibility conferences – this was something completely different.

  3. From: Dan Frydman on July 19th, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Graham I wanted to say thanks for the session too and now I see from Tony Scott’s email to the WPUK mailing list that he’s rallying the troops.

    I happened to meet a lady on the train today who has macular degeneration and when I asked her how she copes with websites she lit up and gave me lots of great input that confirmed much of what you said at WordCamp.

    She’s asked me about setting up a simple site that a group of visually impaired photographers she belongs to can add photos to, so being editors as well as users.

    I wondered if it’s worth extending the call for tickets beyond just us developers and to those with visual impairements too. I’m sure that could easily extend to your network too – finding out the priority of accessibilty elements (add some of Kevinjohn’s agile process here) in order to identify what are the most important / most beneficial changes for 3.5.

    All the best in your efforts. We stand ready and willing to help.

    Because – as Heather says – it’s the right thing to do.

  4. From: WordPress 3.5 showing some promise with new accessibility features | Accessibility and Technology Geek on November 29th, 2012 at 3:00 am

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