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Not many small businesses have paid much attention to the ADA Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), but thata€™s changing fast. Though there is currently no regulation demanding any small businesses follow these guidelines, there may be soon.
We think ita€™s best to go straight for AA compliance level, as thata€™s likely to become the new standard soon.
Provide user controls to pause, stop, hide or adjust volume for moving content, content that runs automatically and audio content.
Be sure your information is labeled, logically laid out and that the relationship between content blocks is clear, particularly if the meaning of the content relies on the sequence. This category help ensure users with assistive technology can operate and navigate your content.
If an operation is timed, the time limit must be adjustable so users can either cancel or extend it. Users should be able to bypass blocks of content that are repeated across multiple webpages such as the menu bar. This group of guidelines looks at how well assistive technology can understand written content.
The context of your webpage should remain constant even when users change the user interfaces settings or content focus. If your site has forms or sections that allow for user input, have suggestions for correction (when correction is detectable) in case of input error. Content that uses markup language should have complete start and end tags, be nested according to its specification, not contain duplicate attributes and have a unique ID. Lastly, the name and role of user interfaces should be determinable by assistive technology.
And while all of this is certainly important, not nearly enough attention is paid to site accessibility. Also known as the WCAG, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines outline everything you should be doing to make your site accessible to as many people as possible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Perceivable: the site and the information on it must be presented in a way that users can perceive.
Operable: the site and all of its navigation need to work under a variety of different circumstances. Understandable: the site, how its navigation works, and all of the information on it must be understandable to site visitors.
Robust: the site must feature content that can be read and used by many different user agents, including assistive technologies.
These broad principles can be applied to any website online, not just those using WordPress, of course. With that in mind, the remainder of this article will be divided by the four principles listed above and offer specific ways you can achieve that principle for your WordPress site using plugins, external services, and more. The Accessibility Widget lets you add a widget to your sidebar exclusively for changing the text size on your site.
Don’t just rely on color to denote an element you want users to pay particular attention to.
You can also use a plugin like EsAudioPlayer to add a simple accessible audio player to your site so you can embed audio content and let those using text browsers download audio files.
From large text options to the ability to resize text up to 200% without compromising function, this ensures users can read everything clearly. If time limits are in place, let users turn them off or allow for adequate extensions, unless there’s a real time component in play — an auction, for example. This includes clear titles, sequential ordering, contextual linking, multiple link paths, and descriptive headings. Try installing something like WordPress SEO by Yoast or All-in-One SEO Pack to add prompts to your post editor for customizing page titles, descriptions, metadata, and more.


It should be written in a clear and concise manner with the language clearly identified and word choice that could easily be read aloud by a computer voice.
You can quickly add a glossary to your site using the CM Tooltip Glossary plugin, though you may need to do some CSS fiddling to get the tooltips large enough to meet accessibility standards.
You might want to use something like Submittable in this case — along with its WordPress plugin to let site visitors submit a variety of file types. This plugin merited its own section here because it covers so many of the guidelines mentioned above and only takes one plugin to it. For starters, this plugin fixes several accessibility issues that are inherently present in WordPress. It also adds several features like letting users skip links, adding an outline to the keyboard focus state, adding descriptions to images, and adding a toolbar specifically designed to give site visitors the option to switch between high contrast, large print, and grayscale theme views. WP Accessibility includes several other features but it’s an all around great plugin that can help you fix several accessibility problems all at once. Making your WordPress site accessible might seem like a lot of work at first, but the benefits are multi-faceted.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines might feel overwhelming on first glance, but hopefully this will help you get started and start checking a few of those modifications off your to-do list. By Brenda BarronBrenda is a professional writer and WordPress enthusiast from Huntington Beach, California. I was wondering what’s the difference between All In One SEO Pack and Sep by Yoast, please? As you said in your intro… i spend most of my time on optimalisation, page speed, lay-out and more while totally forgetting about accessibility. SFI provides services to Hire WordPress Theme Developer, hire dedicated WordPress Developers. My perspective is from the VI-blogger – my partner is severely sight impaired and wants to start a blog.
Do you have any recommendation for a responsive multipurpose theme that is accessibility-ready? After the training the participants will have a good understanding of what it means to make a website accessible. This training is mandatory for web agencies that want to become ANySurfer Certified Partners. Sophie Schuermans have given web accessibility trainings with AnySurfer for more than 5 years. In the past few months, large and medium-sized businesses have been targeted for lawsuits for failing to follow these guidelines, giving most business owners cause to consider updating their websites.
This issue has been in court for quite some time, and ita€™s expected that the US Department of Justice will pass their long awaited ruling in April of this year.
WCAG divides this issue into four sections and provides three levels of compliance for each section: A, AA and AAA. This means everything from images to links to audio files needs an alt-tag and you need to provide captions for audio-video files, both pre-recorded and live video feed. If you do have these phrases present, also provide text that relies on non-sensory description. If these elements are present, they must follow these guidelines and users should be able to stop or hide the element. For instance if your "home" link says "home", don't have it suddenly say "home page" instead when users are on your blog.
Any components that a user can set, assistive technology should be able to set as well, and notification of setting changes should be available to assistive technology. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general. If you take the extra effort to make your site usable by those with disabilities, you broaden your reach considerably. While it may not be possible to hit every single guideline recommended in the WCAG, I’m doing my best to fit in as many as I can here.


You can do this manually, but the SEO Friendly Images plugin adds the right title and alt attributes to all of your images for greater accessibility, of course, and greater search engine optimization.
It’s also designed to work with screen readers, whose users can select the play and stop buttons easily. With it, you can set minimum and maximum resizing percentages and apply it to specific classes, IDs, and tags. Can it be accessed from a number of different devices and does it account for assistive technology? You also ensure that there are no keyboard traps, or spots on your site where input via keyboard can’t be navigated away from using a keyboard.
Also, moving content (auto-scroll or auto-updates) are to be presented either in conjunction with non-moving content or the function can be turned off. In the name of accessibility, it might just be best to avoid plugins that offer this feature altogether. That means your HTML is beyond clean with start and end tags, no duplicate attributes, and unique IDs. WP Accessibility offers a wide variety of features, all designed to make a site meet the WCAG by modifying your WordPress theme. Many of these fixes are deep down in the code, but they make a real difference in how your site is presented to those using assistive technologies. For starters, you’re doing the right thing by making your content viewable and usable by the largest number of people possible. You can often find her typing up a storm at the local coffee shop, or at home re-watching Back To The Future and Doctor Who. I was wondering if Brenda Barron had a recommendation for a contact form that was accessible?
They will be able to integrate all the principles in their daily work to create accessible websites. After graduating in Management of Organization I moved to Brussels to join the Betacowork team. This also goes for identifying components that serve the same purpose across multiple pages. You can install Accessible Dropdown Menus to allow site visitors can access your menus via the keyboard alone. Infinite scroll — a feature that automatically loads new content when you reach a page’s footer — is sometimes built into themes.
You need clear headers and paragraph elements so the content appears as it should on screen readers. As of this writing, there are 11 themes to choose from including the Automattic creation, Twenty-Fourteen and WPstart. And second, you’ll automatically improve your SEO, which means increased site traffic. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject, including any challenges you’ve faced in the comments below! All the site visitor has to do is click on a dropdown menu to select a high contrast stylesheet and the content will be easier to read. And you can use Accessibility Access Keys to create site-wide access keys to make for easier user navigation. The auto update feature could possible throw off screen reader functionality, so be on the lookout for that as well. Though you can also play with custom menus to ensure you’re offering the most clear link options as possible.



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