Drupal Association blog: Drupal GAAD Pledge 2024 Update

Posted on behalf of the Drupal accessibility maintainers and written by Mike Gifford.

Drupal has built a reputation around being standards compliant and accessible. Drupal made an early commitment to meeting the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines when building Drupal 7. In Drupal 8 this was expanded to support the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines. Both times the release was delayed to help make it more accessible. The Drupal community is always working to be more inclusive, and accessibility is a big part of this. 

The GAAD Foundation nominated Drupal for the 2022 GAAD Pledge. Accessibility is a cornerstone of quality open source projects. Other winners have included OpenFL, EmberJS, React Native, and most recently Joomla! 

The GAAD Pledge committed projects to formally update their guidelines to WCAG 2.1. Drupal is currently developing to WCAG 2.2 AA, which is the latest W3C WCAG Recommendation

We have published a draft Accessibility Coding Standards, and we are still working to enhance this guidance. The Accessibility Team has documented many of the best practices that we have built into Drupal. Our Accessibility Coding Standard document has been useful in educating our community about best practices.

We have been tracking accessibility issues in Drupal Core and Contrib (themes and modules) under the accessibility tag. This is already a long-standing practice, and we have a total of 1063 open issues in our issue queue. If we look just at Drupal 11 accessibility bugs, there are 510. For Drupal Core, this includes known accessibility issues, but also issues which could affect accessibility. Bringing it down to those which have been tagged against a WCAG SC, there are only 188 issues. Even these issues are mostly edge cases which do not affect most users. 

These are still too many errors, but it is about proving progress, over perfection. Drupal is still evolving, as our Starshot project demonstrates. Our community is constantly striving to improve the user, developer and author experience. 

Let’s reach for the stars and bring the Open Web to all.
    — Dries Buytaert, creator and project lead of Drupal

The WCAG Success Criteria (SC) which fail most often in Drupal are: 

This has also helped us create an Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR) using the US General Service Administration’s OpenACR. Our current process is outlined Drupal and ACRs

We always need more members of the Drupal community to become involved. The earlier we catch accessibility issues, the cheaper it will be to fix them, and the more robust our solutions will become.  We also hope that everyone takes time to engage in Global Accessibility Awareness Day, where we can share best practices and learn from each other.