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Tabindex Attributes Cause Accessibility Problems

  • tlhInganHom



    It was recently pointed out to me that the tabindex attributes all over the place in the bbPress plugin are causing accessibility problems for users who are blind or due to mobility, navigate my website using the tab key. Disrupting the tab sequence of a page is almost never an OK solution on a site, as it creates a confusing and unpredictable navigation, and that is what bbPress is doing by setting its own tabindex attributes.

    For my own site, I have copied all the bbPress templates into my child theme and am working on removing all the tabindex attributes manually. This, however, seems like a very poor solution to a pretty big accessibility problem. Can you just remove all the tabindexes, or at minimum, offer an option in the plugin to toggle tabindex attributes off?

    Thank you!

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  • bdd


    I was JUST looking for a solution for this! I’d noticed the tab order was off when I was using tab to add a new post in a bbPress forum on my site.

    Did a little exploration, and found this post:

    WP Accessibility Plugin

    In this section about removing tabindex from focusable elements…

    WP Accessibility Plugin

    …it mentioned this plugin that might help:

    WP Accessibility

    And I found a few others along similar lines:

    WP Accessibility Helper (WAH)

    Accessibility by UserWay

    Just with installing the WP Accessibility Plugin (without making any tweaks to default settings), I noticed a difference. (Need to explore a bit more to see if my issue is solved.)

    Joe Dolson


    I’ll note that a patch for this was committed to version 2.6 of bbPress 5 years ago, but that has never been released:

    This is a fix that should really be implemented. I would have noted it sooner if I’d realized that the work I did that many years ago was unused.

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