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From our Community Blog:

Gutenberg Accessibility Audit Vendor Selection

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WPCampus is excited to announce our selection of Tenon LLC to conduct an accessibility audit of the Gutenberg content editor. Founded by Karl Groves, Tenon is a leader in the accessibility testing field. We look forward to working with the team at Tenon over the coming weeks.

Thank you to all of the companies who responded to our RFP. We received some truly outstanding proposals, making this an incredibly difficult decision. We appreciate your patience while our selection committee wrestled with our choice.


This project is funded through our first-ever crowdfunding effort. So far, WPCampus has raised over $10,000, contributed by over 100 generous individuals, organizations, and companies across the WordPress community. In addition, we are particularly grateful to Automattic and Matt Mullenweg, who pledged to cover the remaining balance to fund our accessibility audit just prior to WordCamp US 2018.

The final cost of the audit will be just under $31,200.

We will leave the fundraising drive open until Friday, February 8 Thursday, February 28 to allow more of the community to participate. We hope you’ll join us in this important project to ensure an accessible editing experience for all users.

In addition to contributing financially, some of our donors shared personal messages about why they value accessibility. We encourage you to take a few minutes to read some of these messages.

We deeply appreciate each and every one of you who chose to support our effort, as well as those who weren’t able to donate but helped us publicize the fundraiser. Your support is a strong statement that accessibility matters to our community.

About the Audit

The institutions that participate in WPCampus face legal obligations to provide their academic communities with an accessible digital experience. But beyond our legal obligations, the broader culture of higher education values inclusivity and an exchange of ideas free from artificial barriers.

While the WordPress accessibility coding standards require new code to meet WCAG 2.0 AA, the new editor has not received a full accessibility audit. Lacking such an audit, the overall accessibility of Gutenberg is unclear. This makes it difficult for colleges and universities to determine the best course of action when deciding how to upgrade to the new editing experience.

At the conclusion of Tenon's testing, WPCampus will publish a public report documenting their findings. Beyond higher education, we hope the audit report will be a valuable resource across the WordPress community. We’re also working with Tenon on some exciting possibilities to help in understanding the audit results, so stay tuned for more announcements!

Updated Audit Timeline

When we released our request for proposals last October, we included a timeline with a target completion date of January 17, 2019. That timeline has proven to be a little ambitious, which was entirely our fault. All of the amazing vendors who submitted proposals were up to the task of meeting that target date. But our process for evaluating and selecting a vendor ran longer than anticipated, making January 17 impractical.

With that in mind, here is our updated timeline:

  • Wednesday, January 9: Project kickoff
  • Thursday, January 31: Progress update at WPCampus Online
  • Late February: Audit report released

Selection Committee

We received seven spectacular proposals, each with its own testing philosophy and approach. To help us evaluate the proposals, we reached out to friends both in higher education and in the private sector. Our selection committee included:

  • Rachel Cherry - Director, WPCampus
  • Brian DeConinck - Web developer, NC State University
  • Joe Dolson - Web developer, accessibility consultant, and WordPress Accessibility Team Representative
  • Morten Rand-Hendriksen - Senior Staff Instructor, LinkedIn Learning
  • Amanda Rush - WordPress consultant, accessibility specialist, and WordPress Accessibility Team Representative
  • Rachel Thompson - Director of Emerging Technology and Accessibility, University of Alabama
  • Tim Wright - Director of Front End Engineering, 10up

We thank these amazing people who contributed their time and energy to help make this effort possible.

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