A whopping 20% of the population have a disability of some kind or another. Some may use screen readers, some may need specific colour contrast between different elements of the page. Others will have cognitive disabilities or mobility disabilities. Whatever their need, you do not want to alienate One in Five of your target audience and lose out on their business.
If you trade in the United States you have a legal obligation to make your website accessible, it needs to comply with equal access and web accessibility standards. If you trade in the UK then the rules are slightly different and the obligation for web accessibility relates to Public Sector and Charities, (though there are some exceptions). Read more about what web accessibility is and its importance in our blog here.
The very best time to incorporate accessibility into your website is at the beginning during the build phase paying particular attention to the technical, visual, and content aspects. To make a website barrier-free, it is absolutely essential to consider the requirements at the beginning.
During the design, it is critical to make sure that standard conventions are adhered to.
- Pay attention to sufficient contrasts.
- Implement the two senses principle. A few examples: Add alternative texts to images. Provide videos with subtitles or transcriptions of the spoken content. Add audio descriptions to videos.
If it hasn’t been possible to add accessibility into the structure of your site, there are several plugin widgets that can help. Sadly there isn’t a single one that will fix all accessibility issues, but there are several out there which will make it simpler to navigate your website. This will ultimately help give all users an enjoyable experience.
Some of the best rated plugins:
WP Accessibility FREE
This plug-in helps with a variety of common accessibility problems in WordPress themes. While most accessibility issues can’t be addressed without directly changing your theme, WP Accessibility adds a number of helpful accessibility features with a minimum amount of setup or expert knowledge.
All features can be disabled according to your theme’s needs. For advanced users, all of the functions based on modifying stylesheets can be customized using your own custom styles by placing the appropriate stylesheet in your theme directory.
One Click Accessibility FREE
One Click Accessibility is another free accessibility plugin that makes several user-friendly modifications to your WordPress website. This option is suitable for admins who want an easy setup and simple controls.
One Click Accessibility enables basic accessibility boosts, including skip links to your pages, outline focus and ARIA landmarks, and removing the target attribute from links (to prevent links from opening in a new tab). With its accessibility toolbar, One Click Accessibility can underline your links, resize fonts, activate high contrast and negative contrast, and link to a sitemap and help pages.
wA11y – The Web Accessibility Tool Box FREE
wA11y is a WordPress plugin that provides a toolbox of resources to help you improve the accessibility of your WordPress website.
WHAT DOES “WA11Y” MEAN?
“A11y” is the commonly used abbreviation for accessibility, since there are eleven letters between the “a” and the “y”.
The mission for the wA11y plugin is to provide a plethora of tools to help you evaluate and improve the accessibility of your website.
WAVE is a free evaluation tool provided by WebAIM (Web Accessibility In Mind). It can be used to evaluate a live website for a wide range of accessibility issues.
Filters provide a way for you to modify a piece of data inside the wA11y plugin.
accessiBe from $49.00 per month
This is an AI-powered service (SaaS) created to enhance accessibility & usability of any website. The free WordPress plugin helps connect to its service for easier installation and configuration. accessiBe will help over 20% of your visitors who have a disability to access your site in an easier way. It’s trusted to protect tens-of-thousands of small businesses and industry leaders alike.
The accessiBe plugin for WordPress helps you seamlessly connect to accessiBe AI service without the need to touch any code.
UserWay from $49.00 per month
Another AI-Powered Accessibility Widget is trusted by millions of websites around the world. The widget was developed specifically to provide business owners of any size an affordable yet comprehensive accessibility solution while also making the web barrier-free for users regardless of ability.
Automatic adjustments Include:
Automatically generated alt text.
Colour contrast correction
Page structure and organisation resolutions
Undefined and broken link remediation
Customization Tools Include:
However, and this is a big however, please understand Widgets are no substitute for accessibility measures built into your website. The same is true today for accessibility plugins. These are an “overlay”. As soon as you click on the accessibility icon, the control window opens, or a popup appears over the content. In this window, you can then adapt the presentation and operation of the website to your needs.
Need some help?
If you would like to have your website assessed for deficiencies or want to improve the accessibility of your website, please contact me and I will be pleased to help.