Resources for building accessible websites using WP

The resources below accompany the talk on accessible website design, from both user and developer perspectives, given by Zuzana Kunckova and Elisabeth Klaar at the March 2018 meeting of Cambridge WordPress Meetup.

Reasons for making your site accessible to everyone

Disability affects 1 in 5 of the UK population – that’s 12.9 million people who will find it easier to be your customers or site user if your site is accessible to them. An infographic from A Bright Clear Web gives further facts and figures to motivate you to make your site accessible. Fully referenced at the bottom of the page.

Also worth reading is Zuzana Kunckova’s medium article ‘Is your website accessible? If not you may be losing money!’

You can also learn more about the Social Model of Disability on Wikipedia.

Design principles

The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative’s guide to Accessible Design Principles will get you up to speed on the key principles (make your site Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust) of accessible design.

Accessibility tips for beginners/users/non-coders

WPBeginner has a useful introductory article giving ‘non-coder’ tips for improving accessibility

The WP Accessiblity Plug-in developed by Joe Dolson is also an excellent way to configure your site if you are concerned it’s not accessible but you don’t want to change themes.

Adding images, text and video

A Bright Clear Web has an excellent ‘how to’ blog piece on adding alt text to images in the right way.

Foxland’s article on accessible content covers all bases from a user perspective – headings, video, images and more.

The UK Government has produced some fantastic posters about accessibility and website design, indicating the various ways the users with different impairments can benefit from tweaks in use of colour, in particular.

There are particular considerations for sharing information with people who have a learning difficulty, and the technique of Easy Read has been developed to help with this.

Accessibility for developers

The W3C guidelines for accessibility are a key resource

The WordPress Accessibility Handbook

There are also many articles on WebAIM going into detail about many aspects of accessibility, including intros/guidelines for key areas.

WAI-ARIA guidelines: https://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria-1.1/

Tools for assessing accessibility

HTML validator – https://validator.w3.org/ Chrome/Firefox Developer tools aXe Firefox and Chrome browsers extention WAVE – accessibility checker https://wave.webaim.org/ (also a chrome extension) Readibility checker – https://www.webpagefx.com/tools/read-able/ Contrast ration checker – http://leaverou.github.io/contrast-ratio/ Accessibility checklist – https://github.com/Heydon/inclusive-design-checklist

Courses, for if you want to take it further

Udacity course on Accessible website design (general)

https://github.com/mgifford/a11y-courses (general)

WordPress: Accessibility on Lynda (WordPress specific)

People/groups to follow on twitter or on their blogs

The following people tweet or blog regularly about issues concerning accessibility and WordPress:

Joe Dolson   @joedolson

Claire Brotherton  @abrightclearweb

Graham Armfield  @coolfields

Adrian Roselli   @aardrian

Sami Keijonen  @samikeijonen

Rian Rietveld    @rianrietveld

WordPress.tv

And don’t forget to check out the useful and interesting videos on WordPress.tv, in particular those exploring issues to do with accessibility. Typcially, these are videos of talks given at WordCamps around the world and are a useful resource for learning about many aspects of WordPress.

One Reply to “Resources for building accessible websites using WP”

  1. Thank you for an informative evening: two useful talks.
    ‘WordPress meet up’ is an amazing resource AND what a friendly collective the group are!

    I’m looking forward to next Thursday’s WordPress beginners session.

    I’ve been a member of the Cambridge Writers since January 2011. I had drafted an article to go with June’s newsletter on having a web presence (creating one’s own web page versus paying some to do it etc). Following yesterday’s talks, it’s doubled in length! We don’t have a big readership, but hope that one or two will find their way to your meetings/events.

    Nicola

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