Building an Inclusive Web: Ensuring WCAG Accessibility in WordPress

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Creating an inclusive online environment is not just a moral imperative; it’s also crucial for reaching a wider audience and providing equal access to information. One essential aspect of website accessibility is compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

As the leading content management system (CMS), WordPress has made great strides in promoting accessibility. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of WCAG accessibility, discuss key WCAG guidelines, and showcase how WordPress facilitates the creation of accessible websites.

Understanding WCAG Accessibility

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide a set of recommendations and best practices to make websites accessible to people with disabilities. WCAG focuses on four main principles: perceivability, operability, understandability, and robustness. These principles encompass various aspects, such as providing alternative text for images, ensuring keyboard accessibility, using clear and understandable content, and ensuring compatibility with assistive technologies.

To achieve WCAG compliance, it’s important to understand some of the key WCAG guidelines:

#1Alternative Text for Images

Providing descriptive alternative text (alt text) for images allows users with visual impairments to understand the content. WordPress makes it easy to add alt text to images, ensuring they are accessible to all users.

#2Keyboard Accessibility

Websites should be fully navigable using only a keyboard, as many people with mobility impairments rely on this input method. WordPress themes and plugins are designed to be keyboard accessible, ensuring all functionalities can be accessed without a mouse.

#3Clear and Consistent Navigation

Well-structured and consistent navigation helps all users find and understand the content. WordPress provides intuitive navigation menus and allows website owners to create logical site structures with ease.

#4Content Readability

WCAG emphasises the importance of using clear and understandable content. WordPress offers tools to format text, adjust font sizes, and ensure appropriate colour contrasts, allowing website owners to create content that is readable for all users.

Fonts and Colours

Fonts and colours are essential components on your site, adding personality and style and strengthening your visual identity online.  However, it’s important to avoid font styles, sizes and colour palettes that make your site difficult to read. It’s especially important to pay attention to contrast, or the difference between the darkness of your text and the lightness of your background.

Accessibility Law

UK Commercial Websites

The accessibility of a UK web sites is covered by the Equality Act 2010. This protects all individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society. Site owners are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to make their sites accessible to people with disabilities. The Act requires service providers to anticipate the needs of potential disabled customers for reasonable adjustments.

UK Public Sector Websites

On the 23rd September 2019 accessibility regulations came into force which state that public sector websites have to meet certain accessibility standards. In addition, all public sector websites need to publish a clear statement saying that the accessibility requirements have been met and how.

WordPress Accessibility

Many WordPress themes are not accessible out-of-the-box – it is therefore the responsibility of the website owner to ensure that their WordPress Agency follows the best practice in developing accessible websites.

WordPress also offers a vast selection of plugins, some of which are designed with accessibility in mind. By using accessibility-focused plugins, website owners can easily enhance the accessibility of their WordPress sites.

Testing and Evaluation

Regularly testing and evaluating your website’s accessibility is crucial. Conducting accessibility audits ensures ongoing compliance with WCAG guidelines and helps identify areas that need attention. Some of our favourite accessibility tools are:

1) WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool

WCAG Accessibility in WordPress

2) SortSite Desktop Tool

3) Contrast Checker

WordPress Contrast Checker

Accessibility as a Continuous Process

At Moove, we are committed to promoting inclusivity by building WCAG-compliant websites. By adhering to WCAG guidelines, website owners can ensure equal access to information and a positive user experience for all users, regardless of disabilities. Incorporating WCAG accessibility into your WordPress websites not only aligns with ethical principles but also expands your potential audience and enhances usability.

Let’s work together to create a more accessible and inclusive web with WordPress.

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