How the accessibility team works
The Internet is an integral part of our lives. Whether we want to search for information, exchange ideas, do our banking or book a train ticket. It's all possible on the web. Unfortunately, people with disabilities still fail far too often due to barriers that make it impossible for them to use such offers.
Joomla! has been working for many years to change that. The system does not want to put obstacles in the way of front-end developers to create accessible output on their own.
Semantic standard output and the ability to customize all code have always been the goal. Accessible websites can't be created automatically, but we try to make it as easy as possible for developers.
As the Accessibility Team, we want to support our users and developers in creating accessible websites, for example by integrating our accessibility checker in the backend, which helps editors find possible errors before publishing an article.
The accessible backend is a very special matter for our accessibility team. Many people earn their money with Joomla! as frontend or backend developers, as designers or editors, as administrators or as operators of applications, such as stores, etc..
People with disabilities should not be excluded from this and we are working hard to remove possible barriers. This is not always easy, especially with an application like Joomla! because a lot of different needs have to be considered. When new functionalities are integrated having impact on handling, the Accessibility Team is asked for advice. The team looks at the solution, tests it and gives advice on what needs to be improved. We always look for the best possible solution. This means that we keep the needs of all user groups in mind.
Have a look at the JOOA11Y Accessibility Checker: https://joomla-projects.github.io/joomla-a11y-checker/
Different groups, different needs
What works well for sighted people may be completely inaccessible for others. This process takes time, so we often have to ask our developers for patience.
Recently, for example, we spent a very long time looking for an optimal solution for integrating a progress bar during the installation process. We first isolated the functionality from the Joomla! process. We tested different options with different user-agents (screen readers) and users and were able to come to a recommendation after heated discussions.
You can read more about this here: https://der-auftritt.de/en/insights/progress-en.html
Accessibility is not black or white, there is not always right or wrong. We often look for compromises to meet the needs of all user groups, and we are aware that we don't always succeed for all.
About the team
Our team consists of high-level experts from different backgrounds, with various competences. Developers are represented in our team as well as accessibility testers, consultants or affected people.
Our goal is to make all Joomla areas accessible and WCAG 2.1 AA standard compliant.The CMS, the framework, our websites and portals.
In the Joomla backend we have already succeeded very well. The feedback from affected people shows that our efforts have paid off and Joomla is accessible to people with disabilities.