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Best Tips to Make Your WordPress Website ADA Compliant

How can I make my WordPress Website ADA compliant? This is important and this post will show you why you want to and how to do it.

Image Source: Accessibe

The Internet is unquestionably the most powerful resource known to humankind with access to enormous amounts of information that we could ever have in our entire lifetime. Making your WordPress website ADA compliant is just one of the challenges brought on by access to necessary information.

Nearly 1 billion people, or about 15% of the world’s population, have some form of disability.

By not having an ADA-compliant website, you are not only keeping them away from access to your website but also forbidding yourself from profiting from the disability industry.

Having said that, you are probably asking how to make your website more accessible to all kinds of people. Don’t worry; we’ve got that covered for you in this article.

So, keep reading!

Website Accessibility: What is it?

Simply said, website accessibility refers to how easily everyone can use your website, including those with disabilities. But regrettably, just 2% of the top 1 million websites provide a complete website accessibility feature to all users, including those who are disabled, with:

  • Vision Impairment
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Cognitive Disorders
  • Physically Disabled Users

As a result, the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, established the Web Accessibility Initiative, which sets forth a number of standards to ensure that people of all kinds of categories can use the internet without difficulty.

WordPress ADA Compliance: What is it?

Website owners are under pressure to make accommodations for users with all types of disabilities as a result of the constantly evolving accessibility rules. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 enters the picture here.

This law requires WordPress website owners to guarantee that their site is entirely accessible to those with impairments or any sort of physical disability. Businesses that do not comply with this risk legal action and damage their brand reputation. In light of this, the subject of how to make your WordPress website ADA compliant naturally arises.

Well, there are certain pointers that can help website owners comply with the most recent civil rights legislation accessibility standards.

To find out, keep reading!

Mandatory Staying Compliant

To ensure your website is ADA and WCAG compliant, WP’s coding standard outlines a set of guidelines that address the WCAG’s criteria. Below are these:

  • Perceivable: Interaction with content in the appropriate medium. WP advises using alt-texts, time-based media like captions, and easily recognizable material that can be adjusted for different layouts on websites.
  • Operable: How easy it is to access and use the content on your website. Make sure your website’s material is easy to navigate, keyboard accessible, useful, and gives visitors adequate time to use the site. 
  • Understandable: Your writing is understandable and clear. Make sure your content is simple to read, the page itself is easy to use, and provides input assistance when required.
  • Robust: The website should be accessible to a variety of technologies, including assistive software.

Tips to make your WordPress website ADA compliant

After learning the fundamentals of ADA compliance and web content accessibility, let’s see how to apply this to your website:

Examine your website to determine its current compliance level

The subject of web accessibility is broad, and there are many factors that go into creating a website that is completely user-friendly, even for persons who have disabilities. If one or more of these factors is neglected, you risk losing business from the disability sector.

If you want to make sure your website complies with the recognized accessibility standards, web-based site accessibility evaluation tools are a useful resource. Because website usability is a subcategory of website accessibility, you must make sure your website is both accessible and usable.

You can test your WordPress website’s ADA compliance using a variety of powerful web evaluation tools, including WAVE, AChecker, Intent-Based Accessibility Checker, Cynthia Says, and more. These tools can help you in the following ways:

  • Scan your entire site.
  • Locate any issues that might negatively affect your site’s usability as a whole.

Consider installing an ADA compliance plugin

If you are building a WordPress website from scratch, you may already be aware of the fact that WordPress has a wide range of tools and plugins that can assist you in making your site ADA compliant. Some of such outstanding plugins are the WP Accessibility plugin, Accessibility Checker, and One Click Accessibility. 

However, before selecting and installing an ADA plugin, we suggest considering the following features:

  • Scans the entire website including the posts/ pages/ shortcodes/ widgets/ theme files/ CSS files and more.
  • Including skip links that are activated by the keyboard or an assistive device in your pages is possible.
  • Can encircle the focusable items with a custom outline.
  • ARIA landmarks that make it easier for users of assistive technology to traverse the pages.
  • One Click Usability that can link to a sitemap and help pages, highlight your links, change the size of the fonts, enable high contrast, and activate negative contrast
  • Add long picture descriptions for objects like charts and graphs, define the language of your webpages, add post titles to “read more” links (so the link’s destination is obvious), and delete superfluous title elements.

Furthermore, it is important to know that there is no “plug and play” approach to building a 100% ADA-compliant website. By using plugins, you can identify problems and make adjustments to your website. So, keep that in mind.

Check the readability of the content

With ADA compliance, one of the main obstacles is to make sure your content is readable and understandable. 7 – 10 words per line is a decent rule of thumb. To follow that rule, you can change the font size or column width. Media queries can also be used to modify text for viewing on mobile devices. This increases the likelihood that your material will be compliant.

Make sure your text doesn’t appear above a color background that has alpha transparency as the next stage. In most circumstances, that will indicate a problem when you test it. For backdrop colors against the alpha channel, we advise choosing a solid hexadecimal numeric code.

And last but not the least, the color of your text should stand out enough from the color of your background. You may experiment with various color combinations using the contrast tester in the WP Accessibility plugin, and there are other ones online as well.

Make your images accessible to all users

Every image on your website must be viewable by all visitors. Your website should be prepared to work with assistive technology since not all users have the ability to see images, and some may utilize it to understand visual features.

How will your images be accessible, then? The solution is to add Alternative (Alt) Text.

Before we move on to the methods for adding alt text, let’s define it and discuss how it can benefit those who are impaired.

What is Alt text?

A written explanation that you include with an image is known as alternative (or “alt”) text. Any visitors who might not be able to see the image will hear that description read aloud by screen readers. Any photos on the website that offer useful information should have an alt text description. This comprises images, symbols, and infographics, among other things.

Guidelines to add Alt text

  • Not describe the image as it is. Instead, try to provide anything in the page’s context that will explain what the image signifies.
  • The text should be brief and straightforward.
  • Avoid using the phrase “this is an image of…”
  • Your text should describe what will occur if the user clicks any links that are provided on images.

Exclusion: If an image is solely “decorative,” such as a BG image, divider, or an image with text that is placed on the image itself, then alt text is not necessary.

Utilize the contrast of colors effectively

Ample color contrast is crucial when creating an effective website. When two colors are positioned next to or directly opposite one another, they create color contrast. For instance, the color contrast of black writing on white BG is substantially higher (21:1).

In several circumstances, such as for users with impaired vision, color-blind users, or persons using specific devices, inadequate color contrast might affect the readability of your sites. Your content’s graphical, text, and buttons all require the right level of color contrast.

So, how can you determine which color suits your WordPress website the best? You can find that by using the following methods:

  • Use a tool for checking contrast colors, such as the WebAIM Contrast Checker. You can also check out other free internet resources.
  • Make sure to refrain from utilizing color as the primary identifying characteristic. For instance, a lot of websites include links that are a different color than the body text around them.
  • Use color to accentuate links, but make sure they are clickable by placing an underline beneath the text.

Key Takeaway: Why ADA Compliance Is Important for Your Business?

The initial step toward bringing about major and long-lasting change related to websites is realizing the necessity for such rules. Building an accessible website will ultimately result in more people taking advantage of what it has to offer.

Here are some justifications for why you should still think about ADA compliance even if it seems like a significant time and resource commitment for your company:

  • Your search engine visibility ranking can increase if you comply.
  • The price of upgrading your website to comply is less costly than the cost of going to court.
  • You won’t lose any new clients if you include everyone (the disabled ones).
  • By gaining their business over time, doing the correct thing for persons with disabilities will benefit your company. 
  • ADA compliance shouldn’t be a hassle, but rather an indication of your concern for your neighborhood and for making your website visible to all.

Hope you learned something from this blog! Let us know if you have any doubts or questions in the comments section below. We’ll be glad to help you.

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