Tips for Making Your WordPress Sites Accessible

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According to a recent survey, 33.9% of all websites are running WordPress.
source: W3Techs

WordPress is very easy to use and is known for being the most flexible. WordPress Core meets accessibility standards, but the new Gutenberg editor is still in the process of meeting requirements. If you add a different theme or builder and then add things on top of it, the accessibility of the site may change.

The WordPress Accessibility Coding Standards state that “All new or updated code released in WordPress must conform with the WCAG 2.0 guidelines at level AA.”

WordPress designers who build websites fall into three categories: those who assert that they can make accessible websites, those who have no idea what web accessibility is and those who don’t know and wrongfully advise their clients not to worry about it.

According to a 2010 report from the U.S. Census Bureau, one in five Americans have a disability. That number equates to nearly 51.2 million Americans in 2015 with a disability. The U.S. Department of Labor also found that Americans with disabilities have $175 billion in discretionary spending. Not have an Accessible site is missing out on this valuable groups of consumers.

Making your website accessible to persons with disabilities does not exclude everyone else. In fact it creates the “curb effect”

The curb-cut effect refers to the fact that designs created to benefit people with disabilities often end up benefiting a much larger user group. The curb-cut effect takes its name from the ramps cut into the surfaces of sidewalks. In many countries, curb cuts are omnipresent in areas with foot traffic, allowing people with strollers, bikes, etc. easy access to the street when they need to cross the road. While curb cuts are used by all kinds of pedestrians, they were originally created for the sole purpose of allowing people in wheelchairs to cross the road. Curb cuts only started to become commonplace through the hard work of political activists who demanded that wheelchair users should be able to move freely about in cities, but they turned out to have more universal benefits. Most of us no longer think of curb cuts as accessible design, but simply as the most logical and user-friendly way to design sidewalks – hence the term “curb-cut effect”.

There are plug-ins that may help you get most of the accessible features without much effort, however, they cannot fix all issues and some don’t play well with others. Certain areas of your website will require manual efforts. On this website our intention is to provide tips and tools to assist you in making your websites accessible. It’s more than simply meeting WCAG guidelines, it’s about the user experience and usability of the site.

We welcome your feedback and participation in our surveys. as we work together we can make a more accessible world.