How confident are you that your websites and digital content is accessible for everyone, including people with disabilities? Have you considered the role your Content Management System (CMS) plays in promoting inclusion? Is your website in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) legislation?
These are just a few questions every website developer should be asking themselves. In striving for ADA compliance and accessibility, organizations and website owners can pave the way for a more equitable digital landscape where every user, irrespective of their abilities, can navigate, engage, and benefit from online content.
WordPress, one of the leading CMS platforms, has taken major strides to address these compliance and accessibility concerns. Offering a rich array of accessibility plugins to help ensure your website is ADA-compliant, WordPress makes accessibility a reality for website developers. In short, if your website is built on WordPress, you’re on the right track. In fact, 40.2% of all websites are built on WordPress, translating to millions of users with disabilities interacting with this popular platform every day.
The Synergy Between WordPress and ADA Compliance
The partnership of WordPress and ADA compliance forms a harmonious union; WordPress is an active participant in championing inclusive user experiences, while the ADA sets the standard for ensuring that individuals, regardless of ability, can access and navigate digital content just as easily as anyone else. ADA standards are embedded into the WordPress platform, making digital accessibility a reality for users.
For this reason, it’s recommended to utilize an ADA compliance plugin specifically designed for WordPress, such as WP Accessibility. This tool resolves any compliance shortfalls that your site may have and introduces features like skip links and ALT text for images, enhancing your site’s overall accessibility. New to the world of WordPress and ADA compliance plugins? Read on.
What is a WordPress Plugin?
An ADA-friendly WordPress Plugin is a software component that extends the functionality of a WordPress website. It adds specific features or capabilities, such as contact forms, SEO optimization, or social media integration, without altering the core code.
Plugins are easily installable and customizable, enhancing the website’s performance and user experience. By harnessing these plugins, you can ensure your website is not only complying with important accessibility standards but also providing a superior user experience for all users.
How Do WordPress Plugins Work?
WordPress plugins work by adding extra code and functionalities to a WordPress website without modifying its core files. When a plugin is installed and activated, it integrates seamlessly with the existing website structure. Users can configure and customize plugin settings to suit their needs. Plugins enable website owners to enhance their site’s capabilities – without complex coding.
Next-Level Accessibility: 5 Popular WordPress Accessibility Plugins
Although WP Accessibility is the most common plugin, there are other powerful ADA compliance plugins you can use. Here’s a list of 5 WordPress plugins and solutions for ADA-compliance that can significantly contribute to making your site more accessible:
1. Accessibility Widgets:
These are tools that provide user interface components on your website, enabling visitors to customize the site according to their needs. Accessibility Widgets & Plugins may include options for adjusting text size, changing contrast levels, or switching to a more legible font. They can also include screen reader options for visually impaired users. A notable example is the WP Accessibility Helper (WAH) that provides a comprehensive set of tools in its accessibility toolbar.
Overlays are software solutions that are implemented over your existing website code. They aim to automatically fix accessibility issues and often include real-time modifications that users can make, such as changing the color contrast or text size.
3. Checkers & Monitoring Tools:
These tools help you identify and monitor accessibility issues on your website. They can scan your website to check if it complies with accessibility guidelines like WCAG and offer actionable insights to fix the identified issues. An example is the Accessibility Checker plugin, which provides in-depth accessibility scans and detailed reporting.
4. Crawlers and Missing Alt Text Finders:
These tools help identify images on your website that are missing alt text, which is crucial for visually impaired users who rely on screen readers. They crawl through your website and provide a list of images without alt text. The SEO Friendly Images WordPress plugin can automatically update all images with proper alt and title attributes to improve accessibility and SEO.
5. Accessibility-Friendly Form Builders:
These plugins help you create forms that are accessible to all users. They ensure that your forms have the necessary labels and focus indicators and are keyboard accessible, among other things. Gravity Forms is one such plugin that emphasizes building accessible forms, adhering to WCAG standards.
WordPress Plugins for Accessibility and Beyond
WordPress provides a remarkable suite of tools and plugins to aid in ADA compliance. However, due to the dynamic and multifaceted nature of website accessibility, achieving compliance requires a concerted effort, going beyond the capabilities of WordPress alone.
Creating accessible websites and digital content demands a nuanced blend of accessibility expertise, genuine user feedback, and state-of-the-art tools. It’s a complex journey that goes beyond compliance to establish a universally inclusive digital experience.
Are you ready to take your website’s accessibility to the next level?