So how do I know if my WordPress website is accessible?

Talk by Graham Armfield / View Slides

Testing websites for accessibility can be a daunting undertaking if it’s not something you’re familiar with. The WCAG 2.1 accessibility guidelines can be hard to follow. But actually, many aspects of digital accessibility are not that complicated.

In this talk I move away from the impenetrable guidelines, and introduce a simpler series of yes/no questions that anyone can answer about their own website. In the time available it can’t cover every single potential accessibility problem, but instead I focus on some of the most common, and most serious accessibility issues that I’ve found when reviewing websites. Where possible, I’ll also talk about how you can fix any issues founds.

Questions on “So how do I know if my WordPress website is accessible?

  1. QUESTION: It seems so many people knowingly ignore accessibility altogether.

    If you could wave a magic wand and immediately answer just one question mentioned during your talk (and NEVER need to address again), what would you choose to make the biggest positive impact and why (Keyboard focus, interaction, tab order, link, etc)?

    1. Getting things right for keyboard users would be one thing. Many people don’t even realise that some people rely on keyboard accessibility.

  2. ~Meryl K Evans
    It helps a lot when a site uses a different color (default is shade of purple) for visited links. But how do you make that accessible?

    1. Hi Meryl, I’m not sure there’s any real guidance on that. The purple is an older style convention. Screen reader users here when links have been visited before.

    1. Pick colours from your brand palette that provide sufficient colour contrast, but maybe avoid black on white – as too much colour contrast can cause problems for some users.

  3. You’ve been working in business for over 20 years. What had been the most important advance in web or WordPress accessibility during that time?

    1. I think that HTML5 has done a lot of good for accessibility. I just wish some of the newer elements had better support in browsers and assistive technologies.

    1. Yes there should be accessibility standards for plugins – like there are (optionally) for themes.
      Plugins could have an extra accessibility check and maybe have some kind of accessibility-ready indication like themes.

  4. I use WordPress accessibility teams but know I discover that they are not. Example: in blog websites they use automaticaly the same image for different pages and also the same alt text. What can I do?

  5. What would be a best practice when it comes to providing alt text for complex data charts in WordPress? Should you summarize the results or break it down in detail?

    1. It’s not a good idea to have alternate text that is very long – it can be hard to absorb when it’s read out all at once. For charts and graphs I recommend having a simple alternate text to summarise what the chart/graph is showing, but then also have the underlying data in a table easily accessible. A blind screen reader user would probably need to have the underlying data to make sense of a graph or chart.