Join Joe Dolson for an in-depth discussion in this video What is web accessibility?, part of Accessibility for WordPress.
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- The first step in creating an accessible site with WordPress is an understanding of web accessibility. What is web accessibility? How do we talk about accessibility problems? How is it different from usability? Web accessibility is the art of building a website that's useable by people with disabilities. People with disabilities are a diverse group, encompassing a wide gamut of experiences. Blindness, multiple sclerosis, total paralysis, or color blindness are examples of different experiences that web accessibility techniques try to solve.
Solving web accessibility problems requires a mix of tests for objective and subjective issues. On the objective side, we find issues like missing alternative text for images. Missing alternative text prevents users with disabilities from understanding the content of that image. On the subjective side, we have to look at the specific text used for that alternative. Is the text alternative chosen appropriate? In many cases, an objective accessibility issue is automatically detectable.
You can write code that will find this issue. A subjective issue is fuzzier. Automated testing may be able to see that you have a problem but won't know for sure and can only suggest a possible solution. As a result, working with web accessibility will always require a mix of automated testing for efficiency and hands-on testing to make sure all your issues are covered. Web accessibility issues can also be separated into issues that block users from content and issues that damage the usability of the site for people with disabilities.
If there's a barrier that's going to completely prevent some users from accessing your site, but even though usability issues won't completely stop a user, it's just as important to address usability issues for people with disabilities. There's no value to working hard to create an accessible site if it's unpleasant to use. What are some examples of accessibility barriers? Unlabeled form fields, links without text or targets, events triggered only by a mouse, images without alternative text, graphs without accompanying data, and videos without captions are all examples of barriers to access.
Usability issues are sometimes characterized by repetition or forcing unnecessary tasks on the user. Examples include links that say click here, redundant text, long navigation menus with no bypass method or a failure to use HTML headings. Dividing web accessibility issues between barriers and usability issues differentiates between total failure and inconvenience for the user. Dividing between objective and subjective concepts separates certain solutions from solutions that need human intervention to solve.
In this course, you'll learn all about web accessibility techniques and concepts while also gaining an understanding of how to work with WordPress to make sure you are providing an accessible experience for all.
This course, merging WordPress coding with accessible web design techniques, helps you make sure your website meets modern accessibility standards. You'll learn how to use the power of WordPress to quickly build a beautiful and accessible website that can be used by people with different types of abilities. Author Joe Dolson provides a broad introduction to accessibility and then focuses on practical steps to make sure your WordPress themes, plugins, and content are accessible and usable to all.
- What is web accessibility?
- Understanding the benefits of accessibility
- Building accessible forms
- Adhering to theme guidelines
- Creating accessible navigation
- Working with images, media, and other accessible content
- Integrating plugins
- Testing your site for accessibility