WordPress, Gutenberg and Accessibility

person typing on laptop

In December 2018, WordPress version 5.0 was released with a completely new editing experience known as Gutenberg.  Gutenberg replaces the typical text editor screen that most WordPress users are familiar with.

While Gutenberg opens a whole new way to build and publish content with WordPress, it’s not without its detractors.  The biggest concern has been the poor editing experience for users, especially for those with disabilities.

In spite of the on-going concerns from developers and users, Gutenberg was launched with a large number of accessibility issues unresolved. With 30% of the world’s websites running on WordPress, this is a major concern.  These issues are particularly important to institutions mandated to provide an accessible environment sites for staff and users such as colleges and universities.

In January 2019, WPCampus, commissioned Tenon, LLC to conduct an accessibility audit of Gutenberg.  The final Gutenberg Accessibility Audit has been released and the results are less than ideal.  The WordPress community continues to work on the outstanding accessibility issues but there is still much to be done.

If your website runs on WordPress, this audit is a must-read.  It will help you make an informed decision on how to move forward with Gutenberg without impacting the experience for your users and content publishers.