Accessibility and WordPress 5.0

As reported last week over at WP Tavern, with the release of WordPress 5.0 looming large, major issues still remain for users with accessibility requirements. On behalf of the WordPress Accessibility Team Joe Dolson wrote that the new Gutenberg editor is simply unusable in its present state for those that rely on assistive technology:

In the short term, we hope to resolve all accessibility issues that are true barriers to the use of Gutenberg. In the long term, we hope to improve the integration of accessibility into all future WordPress design processes.

The accessibility team will continue to work to support Gutenberg to the best of our ability. However, based on its current status, we cannot recommend that anybody who has a need for assistive technology allow it to be in use on any sites they need to use at this time.

Given the project’s very own accessibility team is raising genuine concerns over the usability of the Gutenberg editor as is right now, we’re recommending any users with accessibility needs install the Classic Editor plugin; you’ve probably seen the prompts within your WordPress dashboard asking you to choose between Gutenberg and Classic.

It’s certainly a shame that an important part of the WordPress community has been overlooked in the upcoming Gutenberg release; especially given the overall WordPress community’s regard for inclusivity. As we can see from Dolson’s report above, a lot of talented people are certainly trying to resolve this matter.  Sadly it seems those with accessibility issues will have to wait a little longer yet.

As ever, get in touch with our support team by phone or email if you need advice on the upcoming WordPress 5.0 release and/or the Gutenberg editor.

You can read the full report by Dolson here: