Attention to web accessibility (a11y) is one of the most important tasks developers have to ensure an internet that is diverse and inclusive.
This month’s A11y Talk featured Damien McKenna from Mediacurrent. First, he discussed the significance of open source contributions and the importance of contributing back to Drupal, then he led us through a live demo of the patch process on Drupal.org.
“If you depend upon Open Source, Open Source depends upon you!”
Drupal is Open Source and collaboration helps improve the project as a whole. Encouraging employers and clients to give back to the community helps guarantee its long term viability.
Drupal is More than Code
There are many ways to give back to the Drupal project including documentation, training, event management and marketing, and helping in the issue queue.
WAVE Accessibility Tool
The WAVE Accessibility Evaluation Tool extension can help developers test and evaluate accessibility within a browser. Testing module admin/user interfaces and forms for accessibility is as important as testing the web pages themselves. This helps ensure accessibility for developers, not just end-users.
Work with Maintainers
Collaboration is a fundamental aspect of Drupal. Building Drupal and learning from others can boost confidence when working in the issue queue.
Tagging an issue with “accessibility”, “a11y”, “aria”, etc. can alert others of accessibility issues. Using the novice tag can help those new to the process find issues and hopefully introduce them to the process without feeling overwhelmed.
Some work on an issue is better than none at all. Reporting a problem/issue is an excellent first step. Alerting maintainers and the community helps move the project forward into being more accessible and inclusive. The problem can’t be solved if no one knows there’s a problem. :)
Drupal Accessibility Group
Join the Accessibility group on Drupal.org for hints, tips, discussions, and patch proposals to help make Drupal more inclusive.
Next Month's Talk
Scott O'Hara will be talking about how to do accessibility audits and what tools the professionals use.