24 Feb 2021

Accessibility team reloaded

After 6 months of operations, we reflect on the progress our accessibility team has made, and go on the lookout for new contributors.

Thibaud Colas

Thibaud Colas

Wagtail core team
Accessible parking spaces marked in blue

Progress to date

Early on, we chose to give priority to improvements we could make to sites built with Wagtail, rather than the Wagtail admin. Practically, this meant:

Along the way, we also kept working on the SVG icons refactoring for the admin, bit by bit.

Team operations

We ran a short retrospective to reflect on the team’s way of working over the last 6 months.

  • There were a total of 5 people involved at some point over the 6 months (Scott, Andreas, Nick, Helen, and Thibaud), but only 2 people attended each meeting on average. Not as much as we’d ideally want to.
  • We met 9 times, for 30min each, scheduled once every two weeks.
  • Overall we’re happy with what we’ve achieved and how the team works.
  • We were keen to do more automated tests and manual auditing but didn’t get around to it.

The future

There are a few changes we will want to see over the next 6-month tenure of the team.

We’ll want to do a new, comprehensive accessibility audit of Wagtail, either for WCAG 2.2 AA or ATAG 2.0. We want to have a clear, public record of how we’re doing.

We’ll review our contribution guidelines so accessibility is part and parcel of making changes to Wagtail.

And we’ll also investigate having automated accessibility tests built into Wagtail. wagtail-accessibility is one of the most popular third-party packages out there, and we want to double down on having this be one of Wagtail’s strengths.


We also want to involve more people

There’s only so much we can do with two to three of us actively involved – ideally we’d want a team twice that size! All are welcome regardless of skill level or background, and the time commitment is very reasonable. We’re particularly keen to work with people who:

  • Have personal experience of access and functional needs, or who are regular users of assistive technologies.
  • Work on User Experience, design, or content – and can help us understand the needs of our users.

And of course web developers who want to have a practical impact on making the web more accessible!

Does this sound like your kind of jam? If you’re keen to learn more, reach out to us on Slack in #accessibility.


Photo by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash