The AccessibilityAccessibilityAccessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) Team shares accessibility expertise across the project to improve the accessibility of WordPress coreCoreCore is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. and resources.
Below are the web essentials you’ll need to make your site accessible. Other handbook pages explain why these standards are critical to your site. This page tells you how to quickly implement the standards, with WordPress-specific code examples, guidelines, and best-practices.
Assistive Technologies (AT), such as screen-readers, offer multiple ways to navigate a webpage. These include a linked-list of all the page’s HTMLHTMLHTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used in the development of web pages and websites.Headings, another list of the page’s Links, and a third of its Landmarks (ARIA roles).
The better your page’s structure and semantics, the more navigable and understandable it is for users and search engines.
AT browsers need to way to quickly skip from the top of a page directly to the content. These “skip-links” are often hidden visually (via CSS) but readable by AT browsers and visible when accessed via keyboard.
Provide a keyboard-accessible link above the page header that goes to the main content section.
The WordPress project aims to maintain color contrast accessibility at the WCAG AA level. This requires a minimum contrast between background and foreground colors (4.5:1; 3.1:1 for large text). These rules also apply to neighboring text, such as the color difference between linked text and adjacent unlinked text (when there is no underline or other differentiating feature).
The contrast between the background and foreground colors for text should be a minimum ratio of 4.5:1.
The contrast ratio applies to differently colored adjacent text, like link-text.
The contrast ratio applies to all states of text, including :focus and :hover, and :visited for links.
For font-sizes 24 pixels or larger, or 19 pixels when bold, the color contrast ratio must be a minimum of 3:1.
Add a <label> element to all form inputs. (Labels can be visible only to screen-readers.)
Use placeholder text, if needed, to augment but not repeat label text, and never as a substitute for a label.
Use an aria-label to provide an alternate label and screen-reader-only text to append additional data.
Do not introduce new title attributes to convey information.
Group related radio buttons, checkboxes, and connected form elements (e.g.: name, address, email) logically with a <fieldset> element and under a heading using <legend>.
View the default WordPress comment and search forms for examples of forms that pass the accessibility-ready criteria.
Avoid using of a positive tabindex attribute — it hijacks the browsers natural tab order (tabindex=-1 is allowable in certain cases).
Post-submission responses, such as errors or confirmations, must be perceivable to all types of users. Create feedback mechanisms (such as via AJAX) that expose responses to screen readers. Practical ARIA Examples demonstrate how to use ARIA in scripted interfaces.
Just as images need alternative text, your audio and video needs transcripts and captions. Providing alternative presentations of time-based media expands your audience and makes your content searchable by users and search engines. Video captions are also useful for sighted users who watch the video with the audio off.
Allow users to finish an activity without any time limit.
Provide a text version of any visual information critical to understanding a webpage.
Avoid animations that blink more than three times per second.
Provide ways to stop or remove any potentially distracting elements.
0:00 [cheerful guitar music plays]
0:04 Digital technology has created amazing opportunities
0:07 for communicating, sharing information, and
0:10 banking and shopping.
0:11 But users of your digital technologies have different needs.
0:15 Keep this variety in mind, otherwise millions of people
0:19 will find it hard or impossible to use your content
0:22 people you want to reach.
0:25 Accessibility is important to at least 60% of your audience
0:28 and getting it right means you’ll build something
0:31 that is better for everyone,
0:33 so it’s good for business!
0:34 Digital accessibility is also a regulatory requirement.
0:37 There have been legal cases launched against websites
0:40 that exclude users, who may be colour blind, or have impaired use of arms or hands,
0:46 cognitive differences, or visual or hearing impairments.
0:49 It’s best to think about accessibility from the start of a project.
0:53 Here are some tips:
0:55 Tip 1: If you are commissioning an app, software or website,
0:58 make accessibility part of the contract - refer to
1:02 the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2 (WCAG 2.0)
1:06 and British Standard 8878.
1:10 Ideally, include disabled users in your testing.
1:13 Tip 2: If you are using an online platform to create your website, use ‘accessible’ themes and plugins,
1:18 and keep the following in mind:
1:20 Tip 3. Design pages so that users may customise
1:23 their experience of them - changing colours, the size of text, or buttons.
1:27 Use responsive layouts that will work on different devices
1:31 Tip 4: Always let users know where they are
1:33 and how they get to somewhere else.
1:35 Create alternative routes to suit different requirements,
1:38 like a ‘skip to main content’ link.
1:40 Tip 5: Make sure that every action that can be performed using a mouse
1:44 can be achieved using the keyboard alone.
1:46 Keyboard only users need to see where they are
1:49 at all times when they navigate using the TAB key,
1:52 and tabbing should follow a logical order.
1:54 Test how easy it is to navigate using only
1:56 the TAB, ENTER, SPACE and ARROW keys.
2:01 Ever get frustrated by moving objects, adverts popping up...? It isn't just annoying
2:05 - flashing content can cause seizures, while some people with cognitive impairments
2:11 find it really hard to concentrate if there are distractions.
2:14 Tip 6: Give the user control - provide a pause button,
2:18 and don’t set audio or video to play automatically.
2:21 Tip 7: Choose a video player that allows you to add captions, and provide a text transcript,
2:26 to make audio and video content accessible.
2:29 Include descriptions of any important visual
2:32 information as well as speech.
2:34 Tip 8: If an image is important, contains text or is a link,
2:37 explain this with ‘alternative text’
2:39 that screen reader software can read out to users with visual impairments.
2:45 Tip 9: Is your text in easy-to-understand language?
2:48 Use short, simple sentences to aid readability
2:52 and engage a wider audience.
2:55 Tip 10: Give each page a title, and
2:56 organise the text using headings, paragraphs and lists.
3:01 Add 'mark up' to enable easier navigation
3:04 and explain features to people who can't see them -
3:07 this applies to documents in Word or PDFs
3:10 as well as webpages.
3:11 Tip 11: Make sure that links stand out clearly
3:14 from surrounding text and
3:16 let users know if the link will open in a new window
3:18 or download a document.
3:20 Links need to be concise and descriptive
3:23 so that if they are read on their own,
3:24 people will still know where they go.
3:27 Tip 12: Test text and background colour combinations and contrast online
3:31 to ensure text can be easily read
3:33 by people who are colour-blind or have impaired vision.
3:37 If your webpage ‘times out’ before
3:38 people are able to complete forms,
3:41 this can be a very frustrating experience -
3:43 Tip 13: Give visitors time to extend their session if they wish.
3:47 Tip 14: Explain accessibility improvements you’ve made
3:49 and why, in an accessibility statement
3:52 and provide easy ways for people to contact you
3:54 if they are having difficulty.
3:56 Spam protection like CAPTCHA may shut out
3:59 potential customers not just spam robots.
4:02 Tip 15: Please use alternatives [to CAPTCHA] -
4:04 such as text-based logic problems,
4:06 or simple human user confirmations.
4:09 Let’s make sure digital technologies are as usable and inclusive as possible.
4:12 We will all benefit!
4:15 This video can’t cover everything,
4:17 and technology and best practice are always evolving.
4:20 For more help and information go to
4:27 Thanks to the Digital Accessibility Centre [digitalaccessibilitycentre.org]
4:29 DIG Inclusion [diginclusion.com]
4:31 and the Fix the Web Steering group [fixtheweb.net]
4:33 for this animation, made by Tinmouse.
Following W3C web standards gives your site enormous benefits. It improves accessibility, device compatibility, code efficiency and maintenance, and discoverability via web crawlers and search engines. The web standards model proscribes separating your document’s structure, presentation, and behavior layers:
Use HTML to structure content (into headings, paragraphs, etc.).
Use CSS to format and layout content for different devices.