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Opened 16 months ago

Last modified 3 weeks ago

#34668 new defect (bug)

Network admin can't be accessed via keyboard

Reported by: abletec Owned by:
Milestone: 4.8 Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version: 4.3.1
Component: Toolbar Keywords:
Focuses: accessibility, javascript Cc:


In order to *reliably* see the network admin dashboard, one has to hover over the 'My Sites' icon. Violates accessibility guidelines & makes it very difficult to access the network admin dashboard for screenreader users, & I would think many mobile users as well. I've tried example.com/wp-admin/network but this does not reliably bring up the network admin dashboard. Actually pressing the enter key while on the icon does nothing either. To reproduce, simply try accessing the network admin dashboard via keyboard. Sometimes I actually can, but that doesn't seem to happen consistently.

Change History (7)

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #accessibility by cheffheid. View the logs.

16 months ago

#2 @joedolson
16 months ago

  • Focuses accessibility added

#3 @afercia
16 months ago

  • Component changed from Networks and Sites to Toolbar
  • Focuses javascript added; multisite removed

As far as I can tell, this is not specific to Network installations and happens in single installations too, for all the menu items in the admin bar and just when a screen reader is running. Putting it simply, JavaScript keyboard events don't work as many developers would expect when a screen reader is running.

Screen readers intercept key strokes (with a few exceptions) for their own needs. Browsers are simply unaware a keydown event occurred.

This kind of non-native interactions would need some serious ARIA to actually work with screen readers. I'm not even sure it can be done without an admin bar major refactoring. I'd propose to discuss this in the next accessibility team weekly chat in order to plan some action and verify available resources.

In the screenshots below:

  1. dumping the top menu item keydown event in the console, the link default action is prevented and the sub-menu opens:


  1. doing the same thing with NVDA running, no event and the link gets activated:


This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #accessibility by rianrietveld. View the logs.

8 months ago

#5 @rianrietveld
8 months ago

  • Milestone changed from Awaiting Review to Future Release

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #accessibility by afercia. View the logs.

3 weeks ago

#7 @afercia
3 weeks ago

  • Milestone changed from Future Release to 4.8

This is very noticeable with screen readers on Windows (JAWS, NVDA). Less noticeable with VoiceOver but still an issue if using Control-Option-Space to activate the menu. Moving to 4.8 to, at least, start a discussion and investigate on best options to fix it.

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