New guidelines giving people with disabilities equal access to all of the content on the web are being developed. At this point the requirements are only legislated for governmental websites. However, making your small business website accessible is the right thing to do. It might take a while for the legislation to reach every website. Still, consider having your WordPress site accessible to people with disabilities. It opens up your business to new customers and shows that you care about all of your customers.

There’s a new plugin called ADA Plugin that is launching in Spring 2017. Sign up on the ADA Plugin website to receive notifications about when the plugin is available and to get other information related to the topic of website accessibility. We’re paying close attention to the topic of ADA compliance for website accessibility and will continue to share updates with you here. In the meantime, here’s an accessibility checklist to take to your digital designer.

An accessible website should:

  • Provide video with transcripts

This is nice even for people who cant hear. Have you ever wanted to watch a video while at work or in the cafeteria, or on the bus/subway but didn’t have your headphones in and didn’t want to turn up the volume? With captions, people will watch your video any time, whether they have a hearing impairment or just have a sleeping baby on their lap and don’t want sound at that moment.

  • Avoid color schemes that may inhibit  people with color blindness or visual impairment

High contrasts help your content be more readable.

  • Have alt-tags for every visual image

Alt-tags are a field that you can fill in that describes what the photo is about. If people can’t see the image, or their browser won’t display it for some reason, they can read the caption. It is also possible to have an audio file of the caption for people who can not see to read.

  • Use clear and consistent navigation

Breadcrumbs, the navigation path that tells you where you’ve been on the site so you can quickly and easily go back a page or two, is great for this.

  • Avoid or limit blinking/flashing website elements

This trend should have disappeared in the 1990s, but unfortunately, it didn’t. Flashing or flickering can trigger epilepsy or migraines.

  • Buttons and links should be large

This helps everybody…from people who want to click on mobile devices to people who might have large hands. It also helps people who are using assisstive technology to navigate.

Is your WordPress site accessible to people with disabilities? If you want to find out or improve your site but you’re not sure how, let us know! We’re happy to help you find this out and it is out goal to ensure that everyone has access to the information on our sites and for those of our clients.