The current state of Wordpress accessibility

This is meant as an update to How Accessible is the WordPress CMS for a blind content manager? (study) which focussed quite a bit on the backend/admin part.

Also, that old original post lost some of its formatting so it’s confusing to see where I was quoting/copying from @RianRietveld (who’s giving a talk today at the WordPress Community Summit about safeguarding accessibility) and where it was directly from me : )

Recently, @JitendraVyas was looking for a more current state of affairs and found the old thread. So here I’m opening up a new one, and I know some specific individuals are really the backbone of current WordPress accessibility and would like those individuals to comment/update when they can!

Probably with a couple of topics… the new batch of accessible themes and the Genesis framework , as well as what’s been improved on the admin side.

Compared to almost 4 years ago, when this first post was written, much has changed.
WordPress has now an active accessibility team with the full support of the lead and release developers.

The last 2 months we worked on accessibility standards for WordPress core, to be added soon to the overall code standards in the codex. Everything that gets into WordPress core, has to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA standard.

Therefor we are also writing a Handbook to help developers, give examples on how to code and how to test with accessibility in mind.

Our main goal is that WordPress core conforms to WCAG 2.0 Level AA. This includes the Admin section and all bundled themes (like Twenty Sixteen).
Andrea Fercia is working hard on the issues still present in core, with the help of other developers and committers. For this we set a roadmap with issues to fix for each major release.

To test WordPress we can ask the help of our test team of a11y experts and users of assistive technology.

So far about WordPress core.

On thousands of free themes are available, written by volunteers. These theme developers can add the accessibility-ready tag to their theme. This ensures that some basic accessibility is taken into account. The number of accessibility-ready themes is growing every week.
The requirements for this tag are basic (heading structure, keyboard accessible etc.), but that way the biggest issues are tackled.

Speaking for myself: I’m very positive about the future of accessibility of WordPress core.
The big task now is: get the developers and designers educated. Most want to code or design accessible, but have no idea how. That is why we still need to keep reviewing and testing new code that gets into core.


I will second everything Rian has said, and add some new stuff. I am part of the WordPress Accessibility Team, but over the last year or so have spent most of my time spreading awareness of and training in accessibility best practices within the wider WordPress community. At this point, just about every WordPress event, (both WordCamps and other conferences such as Loopconf for developers, and PressNomics and PrestigeConf which are business-related), has some kind of talk on accessibility, usually multiple talks. Witnin the Genesis community, almost all new themes that are being released, including those by StudioPress itself, are accessibility-ready. There’s also work being done by myself and others from the WordPress Accessibility Team on’s interface,’s interface, and all related services and platforms such as, VideoPress, BuddyPress, and BBPress. is also gaining new accessibility-ready themes which are not the default themes that ship with WordPress. I have been working with various authors of popular plugins such as Jetpack, Gravity Forms, Woo Commerce, and Ninja Forms to make those accessible.

Finally, I have been attempting to convince accessibility consultants and agencies who make extensive use of WordPress in their projects to contribute back to WordPress’s overall accessibility. This effort has yielded zero results so far.


Draft, WordPress Accessibility Quick-Start Guide!

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 91 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.