ACCESSIBILITY – Aria-labels translatable
Going through the support forum makes me understand that "accessibility" is making its way into the BeTheme step by step. I have my first project (out of dozens already built on BeTheme) that requires WCAG audit and... my project built on BeTheme "failed" the audit in many ways.
One of the key problems is the aria-labels for landmarks of the page being in English without option to translate (Main Menu, Social Menu, Responsive Menu etc.). For screen-reader-users in a language other than English that creates a barrier as the screen-reader is mixing two languages in a bad way. Screen-readers are not reading English phonetically correctly, it spells English (in our case) a Czech way - and it sounds terrible – it will not pass the audit. I could modify BeTheme files, unfortunately it makes no sense to modify core BeTheme files like headers that will be overwritten with every second update.
Adding an option to translate through GETTEXT function [_e( 'ARIA-LABEL', 'Betheme' )] to the aria-labels would allow web developers to translate the strings in aria-labels into other languages (via PoEdit or similar) and stand a chance to score better at accessibility audits.
I will probably be asked to submit my suggestion to "requested features", I respect that. Still, if you consider this request reasonable, acceptable and doable, is there a chance to make it a higher priority on your side? Your reply will help me decide if I stick with BeTheme or will have to look for other solution.
I am not sure if it makes any difference for your consideration to make these changes anytime soon, but I went through BeTheme files and made a list of files with the aria-labels that would need translation option – there is also a line of code with the aria-label in the parenthesis, so you do not have to search for them individually. Here they are:
Theme files with aria-labels [–name of the file = aria-label (line of code)]
- accessibility.js = Header container (r. 379)
- menu.js = toggle submenu (r. 36)
- searchform.php = Search icon (r. 12)
- functions/theme-menu.php = Main Menu 2x (r. 81, 104), Split Main Menu (r. 143), Overlay Main Menu (r. 237), Skip Links Menu (r. 346)
- functions/theme-shortcodes.php = Search icon (r. 399), icon close (r. 2824, 2840, 2856), zoom image (r. 4953), go to link (r. 4957)
- includes/include-slogan.php = phone icon (r. 18, 21), mail icon (r. 24)
- includes/include-logo.php = Mobile menu (r. 162)
- includes/include-social.php = Social Menu (r. 32)
- includes/include-wpml.php = language menu icon (r. 68)
- includes/header-top-bar-right.php = Search icon (r. 96), Header search form (103), wishlist icon (146), cart icon (167), Mobile menu (248)
- includes/header-top-area.php = Mobile menu (73)
- includes/header-style-shop-split.php = Mobile menu (52)
- includes/header-sliding-area.php = open sliding top (39)
- includes/header-single-intro.php = author (107), published (114), categories (123), tags (152), scroll down icon (170)
- includes/header-side-slide.php = Responsive menu (82), menu close icon (87), Extras menu (116), wishlist icon (140), cart icon (159), search icon (173), Side Slide search (239), search submit icon (251), Translation menu (264), Main Menu (304)
- includes/header-login.php = Shop account menu (32), close menu (35)
- includes/header-creative.php = menu toggle icon 2x (25, 61), search form close icon (77)
- includes/content-single.php = author (142), published (152)
- content-single-portfolio.php = author (144), published (151)
- includes/content-post.php = author (206), published (216, 332), number of comments (225, 250, 309)
Thank you for your consideration!
Thanks for your contribution to upgrading our theme and accessibility to it.
I have passed your message to the dev team, and I got a response that it will be added. 😉
FYI about the theme file modification. You can use a child theme, so the changes you make in the files will not be overwritten after an update.
You can read more about it under the following link:
This is fantastic news! Thank you! You made my day indeed.
Do you have any idea how long it might take – I mean e.g. 1 months or 3 months? Just a rough estimate? Any indication would help me keep this project alive with the contractor. I understand you cannot promise specific dates, just an outline.
And regarding Child theme – YES, I know and I am using it big time. I do modify various files and make my own e.g. for custom posts. However, if you modify some core files, you have to look out for changes/updates, if there is any key modification to those files and you miss it, it may crash your site in some way.
It did happen to me with update to v.26. I had to screen my modified files in child theme to find the key changes in the core files and update them (like switching to FLEX had effect on almost everything). It was not FUN.
If I had modified all the core files listed above for aria-labels, it would have been a nightmare to keep an eye on all potential future changes and keep them up-to-date. That is why I asked your team to make these modifications and appreciate your response to my request.
These changes will probably be available in the next update, which should be released in about 2 or 3 weeks.
WOW. HATS OFF. This is very very very much appreciated!
Kudos to the (BE)team for such prompt reaction!
Glad that you enjoy that 😊