Successful TYPO3 Accessibility Sprint

Categories: Development, Community, TYPO3 CMS Created by Elisabeth Zeilinger
Screenshot of an online meeting with 13 participants.
In total, 29 individual people from four different countries in two continents contributed their knowledge and time during these three days for a more inclusive TYPO3.
The first remote accessibility sprint took place from 21st to 23rd of October 2020 and it was successful indeed. During these three productive days we focused on knowledge sharing, addressing open issues, and creating a practical checklist for developers. An accessible TYPO3 improves the experience of every user of TYPO3

It was the first sprint organized by the new Accessibility Team, and we were truly overwhelmed by many things, in the best positive way. On the first day, we had 24 eager participants ready to start on the dot of 9:00am. After a motivating speech from Benni Mack, groups were formed for discussion, knowledge sharing, and practical  hands-on work. 

Prior to the sprint, an accessibility audit helped us compile a list of 76 accessibility-related issues in the TYPO3 backend. From this list, 47 issues have been actioned - which is awesome! In total 54 merge requests have been created, 27 of them are already merged into Core, 6 are in the review process and 21 are pending due to merge conflicts. 11 of the merged contributions are backported to TYPO3 v10. This means that a lot of barriers have been removed in TYPO3 thanks to the combined developer and accessibility power of all participants. 

An important and memorable  part of the sprint was an interactive live screen reader demonstration from our friend Aleksander, who is using assistive technologies in his daily life because he is blind. He showed us how he would create a new page and a new content element in TYPO3. This was an immersive and sobering demonstration that tasks which seem simple for sighted users, require much more effort and guidance for a blind user to perform. Aleksander: “At the moment there are many occasions where I get lost. In those cases I usually refer to sighted help from another person”. 


In total, 29 individual people from four different countries in two continents contributed their knowledge and time during these three days for a more inclusive TYPO3! The participants had a variety of backgrounds including accessibility, frontend development and backend development. The Accessibility Team wants to thank all participants for their amazing contributions. This combined strength showed that accessibility is an important topic and a lot of people are willing to help make TYPO3 accessible for everyone. 

The enthusiasm during the sprint was also evident at the conclusion, when we were asked by the participants when the next sprint will take place. 

“For me it was a very nice introduction to the TYPO3 community and ecosystem, and an entry point for contributing. I will definitely take part in the next Accessibility Hour and I’m looking forward to the next sprint. Seeing how difficult it is to work with TYPO3 for a blind person right now was very inspiring, and I hope more developers will be aware of that in the future.”—Matthias Weber

“I enjoyed the sprint a lot! I gavea talk in my company and now my colleagues’ awareness is raised! I’d definitely take part again!”—Thorsten Griebenow

“I enjoyed the sprint and would participate again in half a year. I would love to see if we all could finish the work we have begun.”—Martin Kutschker

“It was a great experience for us and our contributing team and the atmosphere as also helpfulness of the community was pretty nice. We are excited that accessibility grows in importance for the TYPO3 backend, and also that people are inspired towork together to make TYPO3 accessible for everybody. It was especially great  that a lot of the tasks could be done directly in the sprint.”—Alexander Hofer

Result of the Sprint

It was a very productive sprint. With the combined help of Core contributors supporting us, it was a smooth exchange of knowledge throughout the sprint. We were able to successfully merge accessibility improvements into the TYPO3 Core during the sprint. 

Achievements so far:

  • Create a draft accessibility checklist and guidelines for TYPO3 developers
  • 47 issues from the Accessibility Audit have been addressed and merged into Core, or are in the review process. You can view contributions for accessibility (starting from the first day of the sprint up to the present) in the Gerrit Review system—assigned with the topic a11y
  • Accessibility knowledge was spread throughout the sprint to improve the understanding for every participant
  • We had many first-time TYPO3 contributors during the sprint who learned how to contribute to TYPO3 

Next Steps

Although a lot of work has been done and we are very proud of every contributor, we don't want to stop here. We have some important things planned for the near and far future: 

  • Finishing the draft for the accessibility checklist for developers
  • Raise awareness for the accessibility checklist
  • Plan the next accessibility event
  • Work on and discuss open accessibility issues

Accessibility Team

The event was organized by the TYPO3 Accessibility Team, which was transformed from an TYPO3 Initiative to an official team in 2020. 

Having a dedicated team for accessibility is an important step for TYPO3. An accessible TYPO3 will improve the experience of every user. It also brings legal and economic benefits, and opens the market to customers in the public sector.

Join the conversation! The Accessibility Team provides information on accessibility and gives the opportunity to discuss accessibility topics on a regular basis in our Slack channel #accessibility and the monthly TYPO3 Accessibility Hour. Our overall goals are to make TYPO3 more accessible, and to improve the knowledge about accessibility for all TYPO3 developers and throughout the community. 

We had a great experience with this sprint and we are already looking forward to seeing you all again at the next accessibility event. Thank you all and see you soon! 

Michael Telgkamp, Elisabeth Zeilinger, Stefan Farnetani, Paul Hansen, Torben Hansen

Join our Slack channel #accessibility … and the monthly TYPO3 Accessibility Hour for more updates on accessibility! 

Thank You

We want to thank for hosting the BigBlueButton service we used as the main communication channel during the sprint. 

As preparation for the TYPO3 accessibility sprint, an accessibility audit was conducted by gugler* brand&digital. The most important tasks for editors have been tested against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, with conformance level AA. This audit was the main source for developers to work on accessibility issues during the sprint.

Additional contributors for this article
  • Proofreader : Felicity Brand
  • Content Publisher : Mathias Bolt Lesniak