Progress in Accessibility Enhancements for Drupal 7
The list of issues here I'll try to keep updated to reflect the changes in accessibility issues in Drupal 7 prior to release.
It's really amazing to see the improvements for accessibility in Drupal 7 over the last two years. There have been some really impressive improvements that are making this an even more inclusive framework for any web development project.
I just took a look at the number of issues that have already been fixed & are part of Drupal 7 already and there are 67 (as of Sept 16). That amounts to hundreds of hours of discussion & dialogue about how to make Drupal better. There have been over 200 issues posted about Drupal 6 and 7. Some new accessibility issues are now being put off to Drupal 8 (don't ask about a release date).
There are a few issues that are that have been marked Reviewed and Tested by the Community (RTBC), which is an an indication to the core team that a patch has been sufficiently reviewed and that there is a solution which has been created (a patch) that is ready to be implemented. There's a final push to get changes into Drupal 7 and there are presently 10 issues that are sitting ready to get into core.
The bulk of these issues are corrections to LABEL for HTML form elements. This makes it possible for screen readers to understand what text area or checkbox means.
Labels are missing for search admin pages, creating new actions, date administration, path filter and locale admin forms but a patch for each is ready to get in core. Many of these have been merged into a mega patch. There is also a fix for a problem where orphaned LABELs were being generated for radios, checkboxes & items.
Other issues that are ready to go include
- Forum icons not accessible to screen-reader users
- Make .element-invisible work for focusable elements like links
- Accessibility problem with table header
- #required_error for custom form element error messages
- Search results should add lang tag if language of search result differs
- Open/Close Drawer link doesn't show focus
- Theme screen-shots do not have adequate alternative text
- When selecting a new formatter or editing settings focus context is lost
- Primary and Secondary links headings are hard coded
- "unpublished" status of rendered entities is not accessible
- Retain #anchors during path alias -> normal path saving
- Adds #title and #title_display to the weight columns of all tabledrag elements in core
- Dashboard prints the search form title twice on the page (causes display issues in Seven
- Book Module Navigation links need better context for accessibility
- Anchor/focus hidden beneath toolbar/tableheader (generic solution)
There are other a number of other issues that haven't been fixed or marked RTBC yet that still need more attention for Drupal 7's accessibility. Some of these will need to be bumped to Drupal 8 to get resolved or addressed in contributed modules, but some of these issues still have a chance to get into core.
So, take the time this month to look through the issue queue, set up Drupal 7 and help make Drupal 7 work for everyone when it is finally released. For more information please join the Drupal Accessibility Group or see the Drupal Accessibility Statement.
About The Author
Mike Gifford is the founder of OpenConcept Consulting Inc, which he started in 1999. Since then, he has been particularly active in developing and extending open source content management systems to allow people to get closer to their content. Before starting OpenConcept, Mike had worked for a number of national NGOs including Oxfam Canada and Friends of the Earth.