This Week in Wagtail

19 May 2023

Global Accessibility Awareness Day was yesterday, and we're marking the occasion with some Wagtail accessibility tips backed by data!

Wagtail Accessibility Trends Part 1

Accessibility checks on Wagtail sites - HTTP Archive Wagtail sites in 2023 - GAAD 2023 - Newsletter

In a past issue, we took a closer look at the Wagtail accessibility checker. What you might not know though is the checker rules are based on data. We collected various sorts of data on the accessibility performance of Wagtail websites and found some pretty interesting trends.

The chart above, for example, shows that some of the more common accessibility check failures on Wagtail websites are for:

  • button-name: A button element on the page is lacking a label. This is entirely detectable with automated tests, such as those featured in our built-in accessibility checker, built on Axe.
  • frame-title: A frame (such as an embedded video) is missing its title. Again, an issue that can be detected with automated tests and fixed fairly quickly!
  • heading-order: Some heading levels are getting skipped on the page – always have a main heading (h1) followed by subheadings (h2, h3, etc.).
  • link-name: Just like button-name, one of the page’s links is missing its title.

Another neat trend we're seeing is the mean accessibility scores of Wagtail websites are steadily increasing over time:

Mean accessibility scores of Wagtail sites - HTTP Archive sites in 2023 - GAAD 2023 - Newsletter

Most Wagtail websites are doing slightly better than industry averages. But only just slightly better. By working together and using better tests though, we can definitely get those numbers higher.

So how can you help? Fixing the errors flagged by the Wagtail accessibility checker is a good first step. We recently published an update showing you the new rules the checker incorporates as well as an example of how you could implement your own custom checker rules to cover any tests we haven't included yet. Block out a bit of time to try it out and see how many errors you can eliminate!

Read our update on the accessibility checker

Accessibility lessons from collaborating with RNIB

If you're keen for more accessibility ideas, developer Jane Hughes shared some of her key observations from collaborating on a Wagtail project with the Royal National Institute of Blind People. She shared six key tips you should consider for your next project.

Read Jane's blog

Four Digits releases Climate Helpdesk

Four Digits, an agency based in the Netherlands and regular organisers of Wagtail Space, released a new Wagtail-based project called Climate Helpdesk. The helpdesk gives people a resource for finding science-backed answers to their questions about climate change. Four Digits has shared both the website code and the accompanying wagtail-helpdesk package as open source projects.

Read Four Digits' blog for more details (NL 🇳🇱)

Learn Wagtail in Spanish (ES 🇪🇸)

Josue Hernández is publishing a Wagtail tutorial series in Spanish. If you know any Spanish speakers who would like to learn Wagtail, here are the links to the first two tutorials:

Package updates

Until next time, thank you for reading! If you have a news item to contribute or a package release to report, please reach out to us through the Slack community or email us.

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