Make WordPress Core

Opened 6 years ago

Closed 6 years ago

Last modified 6 years ago

#44671 closed enhancement (wontfix)

The "Try Gutenberg" call-out needs an explicit warning for users of assistive technology users and keyboard only users to install the classic editor plugin, complete with its own heading

Reported by: arush's profile arush Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version:
Component: Editor Keywords:
Focuses: accessibility Cc:

Description (last modified by SergeyBiryukov)

The "Try Gutenberg" call-out needs to have an explicit recommendation targeted at both assistive technology users and keyboard only users that they should install the classic editor plugin and that these users should continue to use the classic editor plugin even when 5.0 ships. This is because for these groups of users, Gutenberg is not ready for prime-time, and as far as I can tell from the conversation over on Github, complete accessibility and useability, (or the lack thereof), are not blockers when it comes to release of Gutenberg.

Furthermore, as admin notices currently stand, they are more often than not skipped by screen reader users due to the very high amount of abuse of said notices by theme and plugin authors. So I believe this one needs to have its own heading, (something like "Very important"), to draw attention to the fact that the one regarding Gutenberg and assistive tech/keyboard only users is one that should not be skipped.

There's no way for WordPress to detect whether or not a screen reader is in use, or dictation software such as Dragon, and given Gutenberg's current state of accessibility, asking AT or keyboard only users to try Gutenberg without warning them of the pitfalls involved would be at best problematic. Also, when 5.0 ships, and Gutenberg is roled into core, turning it on automatically for these user groups at least is going to cause a whole lot of unnecessary headaches at best, and anger and frustration at worst.

Accessibility experts who are also long-time, heavy screen reader users, or straight-up screen reader experts or assistive technologists, and on top of either of those have spent a decade or more using and developing with WordPress on a daily basis, find it impossible to get anything done efficiently with Gutenberg. Same with keyboard-only users. And if the experts are having all this trouble, the people who are not experts in accessibility, screen reader usage, or WordPress usage are going to have a lot more trouble. So I believe it is our responsibility as a project to do our best to help all these people make a decision that's going to have the least negative impact on their use of WordPress.


Change History (16)

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #core by nerrad. View the logs.

6 years ago

#2 @ocean90
6 years ago

  • Component changed from General to Editor
  • Focuses accessibility added; multisite removed
  • Severity changed from major to normal

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

6 years ago

#4 @johnbillion
6 years ago

  • Milestone changed from Awaiting Review to 4.9.8
  • Version set to trunk

Moving to the 4.9.8 milestone for visibility.

#5 @johnbillion
6 years ago

This will probably get bumped to 4.9.9 though, as 4.9.8 is imminent.

#6 @SergeyBiryukov
6 years ago

  • Description modified (diff)

#7 @pento
6 years ago

  • Milestone changed from 4.9.8 to 4.9.9

Thank you for the suggestion, @arush!

I appreciate your point that Gutenberg still needs improvement for assistive technology and keyboard-only users, though I think it's a little unfair to describe the Gutenberg team's attitude as "complete accessibility and usability, (or the lack thereof), are not blockers when it comes to release of Gutenberg".

As we get closer to WordPress 5.0, there's a good discussion to be had over how we recommend installing the Classic Editor plugin, and who we recommend it to, but I think it's premature to be recommending that an entire demographic opt-out now.

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

6 years ago

#9 @rianrietveld
6 years ago

I've been thinking about a good text and think it should contain something like:


About accessibility and the new editor Gutenberg

WordPress version 5.0 will have a new editor called Gutenberg. The way you create new or edit existing content will change. Also the way you publish or update content will be different.

This notification is important if you depend on assistive technology, like a screen reader, voice recognition software like Dragon, or if you depend on a keyboard only to use and navigate the web.

The Gutenberg team works very hard to make this new tool as accessible as it can be, but there are still issues we need to fix.

To avoid you getting lost or unable to use WordPress, please install the [classic editor plugin](link to activate the classic editor). Then Gutenberg will disabled.

If you want to try if you can use the Gutenberg editor, there is an online demo at []( ).

If you want to help testing or need more information, please [contact the WordPress accessibility team](link to page on with some ways to contact)

We will keep you updated on when Gutenberg is fully accessible.


I'm not a native English speaker and also don't know the legal implications of this. See it as a first go.

#10 @lonelyvegan
6 years ago

We're working hard to fix accessibility issues (the date picker for instance, a quite large issue, is nearing merge I think), I'm curious if screen readers and assistive technologies are made entirely unusable by Gutenberg. I didn't think that was the case.

Instead of encouraging Classic Editor first, I think the order of suggestion could at least be changed: let's encourage users to try using Gutenberg first–if they encounter issues, inform them of the Classic Editor plugin. That's what it's there for, but we should point them to Gutenberg first. It could be the accessibility issues that exist are ones they won't notice, and in that case it's good to have those users on board.

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

6 years ago

#12 @pento
6 years ago

  • Milestone 4.9.9 deleted
  • Resolution set to wontfix
  • Status changed from new to closed
  • Version trunk deleted

The Try Gutenberg callout will be removed from the 4.9 branch, and 5.0 will point users to the classic editor plugin if they need it.

#13 @bemdesign
6 years ago

Possible wording we could use if this gets revisited (or some other notification is provided):

Howdy! Do you use screen readers, screen zoom utilities, or other accessibility tools to use WordPress? You may have noticed that the new WordPress editor experience (Gutenberg) may still have issues with your tools. We’re still working on it. If you don’t mind testing and providing feedback, that would be super helpful! But we totally understand if that’s not possible. You can install the classic editor plugin while we keep working on making the new editor experience better and more accessible. Thank you for your patience and support as we make the WordPress editor experience better for everyone!

Links could then be provided for editor feedback and to install classic editor plugin.

Last edited 6 years ago by bemdesign (previous) (diff)

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

6 years ago

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

6 years ago

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