If you own a WordPress website or want to purchase or create one, you will need to consider many things.
Among the most critical aspects will be related to your website’s accessibility and if it will comply with ADA and WCAG.
You can use a plugin or widget for WordPress accessibility and other issues.
Becoming ADA & WCAG compliant will not only ensure that your website will become more visible on the web, but it will also help you acquire new leads and potential revenue.
But what exactly is ADA and WCAG compliance, and what does it mean for your WordPress website?
Understanding ADA & WCAG Compliance
ADA is short for American Disabilities Act, while WCAG refers to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
These laws and regulations are meant to ensure that websites are more accessible and inclusive when it comes to people with disabilities such as:
- Vision impairment/blindness,
- Motor or mobility disabilities,
- Cognitive disabilities, people with learning difficulties, or
- Those who are deaf or have a hard time hearing.
There is also the Section 508 law which affects federal agencies or contractors. It affects businesses and organizations that have 15 or more employees.
When it comes to ADA compliance, entities with 25 or more employees are subjected to the act.
At the same time, WCAG is a set of standards that businesses should adhere to regarding web content and accessibility if they want to achieve compliance with most worldwide legislations.
The WCAG system has a three-tier grading system when it comes to your website’s accessibility, namely A, AA, and AAA.
The first level means that only some users can access your website, while AA means that your website is accessible to most users.
If you reach AA, you might be partially compliant with other regulations. AAA is the best tier since it means your website is accessible to everyone.
ADA is a civil law that aims to make the web a more inclusive space for everyone, and if you want to become ADA-compliant, you have to follow the WCAG guidelines.
In regards to WCAG guidelines, you should abide by its four principles of making your website easier to be perceived, easily navigable, understandable and having assisting technologies.
The Four Principles Of WCAG
If you analyze the four principles of WCAG, you will understand exactly what ADA and WCAG compliance means for your WordPress website.
In some instances, it might mean a complete remake, while in others, you might be lucky and only need to do some small adjustments.
It all depends on how your WordPress website was built. The four principles of WCAG are as follows:
How Users Perceive Content
Let’s say you have a WordPress website with many text articles. However, if some of your visitors can’t see, you need to have the option to make your text audible.
If they can’t hear, then you should implement closed captioning options. This way, you allow your content and information to be perceived by all users.
Some WordPress sites offer site tools for their viewers. However, you have to make sure that your visitors can navigate your website with ease and be able to use your site tools. This might mean you must write some ADA-compliant codes into your HTML.
For example, if you have people with motor disabilities visiting your website, you must ensure that they can navigate through other means than their mouse.
You can make your entire website navigable through a keyboard or add other assisting navigation tools.
Understanding Your Content
Your website needs to have consistent directions that won’t make it hard for your visitors to understand.
They have to understand what they are reading or listening to. To solve this, you can implement instructions, navigation menus, forms, or other features.
Implementing Universal Content
The last principle of WCAG is to treat your website visitors with a full user experience.
This means avoiding shortening descriptions, explanations, directions, using jargon, and other related things.
Your content needs to be universal, easy to understand, and can deal with assisted technologies that disabled people use to browse the world wide web.
What It Means For Your WordPress Website
Being ADA & WCAG compliant might mean some new adjustments to your WordPress website.
It might mean some color contrast tests, CSS checks and editing, readability analysis, new color and font settings, new orientation options, and more.
It all depends on how your website currently stands in regard to ADA & WCAG compliance.
This doesn’t mean you have to reach the AAA tier, but if you can reach the AA tier, you are in an acceptable position.
Don’t view the ADA & WCAG compliance as a hassle because, in the end, it will only make your WordPress site better and, apart from making your website more inclusive, leading to new revenue.