Accessibility this week: August 1, 2016

This week, accessibility articles have gone back to the basics. In one article, TemplateToaster describes five ways to make your WordPress site accessible. In another, SiteImprove talks about how to incorporate accessibility compliance into the dev process.

Five ways to make your WordPress site accessible, by TemplateToaster

As a WordPress blogger who writes about accessibility, it's important to me that my own blog is accessible. I'm happy to share this article by TemplateToaster that deals exactly with this topic. Here are the main points:

  1. Add alt attributes to your logo (and other images in the site)
  2. Place Aria landmarks to identify parts of the page
  3. Use visible focus indicators
  4. Proper use of headers (heading elements)
  5. Improve forms

A few of these points coincide with my own recent post on the top 5 most costly accessibility issues. I like TemplateToaster's emphasis on the use of visible focus indicators. These are not part of the baseline accessibility requirements (WCAG level A), but they should be.

Anyone who believes in putting the content first will agree with TemplateToaster's point:

The main content is your primary concern and making sure that your website’s code doesn’t hinder screen readers.

The importance of accessibility in the dev process, by SiteImprove

In this article, John Christensen describes how developers can add accessibility compliance to their process. He outlines a few key requirements to make this happen:

  • Developers must familiarize themselves with accessibility guidelines and the vocabulary of accessibility.
  • Use an automated tool to flag accessibility issues.
  • Learn to categorize and prioritize issues and their resolution. Use the categories the guidelines themselves already use. Fix WCAG level A issues first.
  • Get to the root of problems, and finally get over the accessibility learning curve.

I love the fourth point. The WCAG guidelines seem overwhelming, but it won't take long for you to get over that learning curve. People are always concerned about the time required to ensure a website is accessible. Yet, the time needed will decrease every time you do it because you will improve.

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