The Tangled Web We're Weaving: The Future of WordPress Accessibility

The Tangled Web We're Weaving: The Future of WordPress Accessibility

WordPress now powers over one third of all websites on the internet. The decisions that the WordPress community makes ripple out and make an impact on the ways people use the web, how web developers and designers do their work, and influence future technologies and development. That’s a lot of power in our hands – are we using it wisely? We have a responsibility to lead by example.

Let's explore the influence the WP community is having on accessibility and inclusive design, the things we’re neglecting, the impact that our decisions are having on people across the globe, and what we could be doing better.


Natalie MacLees

October 06, 2019



    N ATA L I E M a c L E E S ! @nataliemac digita11y Photo by on Unsplash
  2. Accessibility 
 means making the 
 web usable for 

    people with disabilities.
  3. One in four adults in the U.S. has a disability

    that impacts 
 major life activities
  4. CAPACITY no mobility

  5. None
  6. CAPACITY no mobility elite athletes ♂

  7. CAPACITY disability


  9. On a long enough timeline, accessibility becomes important to everyone.

    JOHN BROWNLEE Why Accessibility Is the Future of Tech
  10. Permanent Temporary Situational " " "

  11. Accessibility 
 means making the 
 web usable for 

    people with disabilities.
  12. Accessibility 
 means making the 
 web usable for 

  13. WebAIM Million

  14. have identifiable accessibility errors 98% have blocking accessibility issues 60%

  15. Our lives are digital.

  16. Accessibility is 
 more important than ever

  17. We are leaving people behind.


  19. WCAG 2.0 AA

  20. Two Things


  22. We think that the current interface could be a ton

    more streamlined, but we’ve compromised a lot of the alternative approaches we’ve wanted to take based on accessibility feedback and trying to have a single interface that serves all types of users MATT MULLENWEG
  23. Accessibility requirements stifle innovation.

  24. Inclusive design encourages innovation without barriers.

  25. I would rather release it for the users who will

    find it usable (which should include many-but-not-all users of assistive technologies), and accept not everyone can use Gutenberg on Day One. MATTHEW MCPHERSON
  26. ...all of us who build the web collectively decided that

    we could ignore some people's needs so that the work could be done faster. WINSTON HEARN
  27. The web industry has collectively exercised its power to state

    that disabled people do not belong here. WINSTON HEARN
  28. Legal Lost Trust Fall Short # $ %


  30. ...make accessibility about real people, not guidelines. JONATHAN HASSELL

  31. Stop leaving accessibility for last

  32. ...a key thing we have to fix is the [accessibility]

    team working in a less adversarial way with all the other contributors to WordPress... MATT MULLENWEG
  33. …you need to fix the problem in the process not

    the product… JONATHAN HASSELL
  34. 31.2% of the top 1 million sites

  35. ATAG 2.0

  36. Sponsored 
 accessibility professionals

  37. Accessibility competence 
 on every team

  38. Accessible coding standards 
 extended to plugins & themes

  39. What kind of world are we building?

  40. The Toynbee Convector

  41. Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt

    those doing it. UNKNOWN
  42. Thank You! Natalie MacLees Download presentation slides: &

  43. BIBLIOGRAPHY • Why Accessibility Is The Future of Tech, John

    Brownlee, why-accessibility-is-the-future-of-tech-a3f535cc4f0e • WebAIM Million • Perpetuating Harm, Winston Hearn, perpetuating-harm/ • WordPress and ATAG compliance, Joe Dolson, joedolson/wordpress-and-atag-compliance • Including your missing 20% by embedding web and mobile accessibility, Johnathan Hassell, your-missing-20-by-embedding-web-and-mobile-accessibility • To Whom Does The Burden Fall, Anne Gibson, interconnected/to-whom-does-the-burden-fall-7349f9cc11fd
  44. BIBLIOGRAPHY • #comment-34198 • • We are actively

    destroying the web, Chris Ferdinandi, we-are-actively-destroying-the-web/ • A Model For WordPress Accessibility, Adrian Roselli, 2019/05/a-model-for-wordpress-accessibility.html • Fighting Uphill, Eric Bailey, uphill.html • The Web We Broke, Ethan Marcotte, broke/ • Accessibility is a civil right, Marcy Sutton, civil-right