Accessibility for your website – What is Accessibility and why is it important for your WordPress website? John from Tenon joined the PressTribe live chat to discuss WCAG compliance and offered us some really great accessibility tools.

Full Transcript

Hey y’all my name is Kori Ashton, and I’m excited to talk to you today about accessibility. Now before you turn this video off, I want you to know there are lawsuits happening left and right. You need to educate yourself on what it means to have a WCAG compliant, or an accessible, compliant website, for all of your visitors, all of your clients, if you’re a developer, or a freelancer.

You need to be very aware that this is a serious matter that people are being sued over, and I’m going to walk you through a couple of free resources so that you can audit your website, as well as write an accessibility statement, and I’ll even give you a resource to what to do if you receive the letter of intent to sue, regarding your websites accessibility. Let’s go take a look at all of it, right now.

So yesterday we had an incredible guest, by the name of John Watts, from Tenon, which is an accessibility company, who came and spoke to us on PressTribe live chat. It was incredible, he was in the hot seat, we were firing questions at him. And of course one of the first questions I asked was, what is it, why is it so important, and this was his incredible answer, I wanted to share with you today.

“So what is accessibility and why is it so important, not just for WordPress but for the Web as a whole. Essentially what we are saying is that the Web should be able to be perceived, understood, navigable, and able to be interacted with by everyone, regardless of any disabilities they may have. We at Tenon believe that every user should have equal access to your website.”

I couldn’t agree more, I think its incredible, you want to think about different people, with different disabilities, whether its an eyesight issue, and color contrast or font size could be an issue. You want to think about anybody whose coming in with mobility issues who might not use a standard mouse. How are they gonna navigate through your website? What sort of browser readers and other tools might be out there that folks with disabilities have to use in order to check out on your website, fill out a form on your website, click to call on your website, try to email on your website, whatever it might be, whatever call to action your asking them to do, if they’re unable to complete that, you know, you’re losing individuals, you’re telling them you don’t care about them, you’re also, uh, setting yourself up for a lawsuit, we’ll get to that in a minute, but I just want you to understand how serious it is.

Now I want you to know there are free resources out there for you to get an audit on your website, to see how off it is, there’s little things, like adding alt images, uh, alt tags rather, to an image, making sure that your form has labels on it, all sorts of different little things that add to the accessibility of your website. And there are also large, more advanced things you can do.

And that can get quite costly, but I don’t want you to worry about that just yet, I want you to educate yourself, because more and more, as your building websites, whether its for yourself, or whether its for clients, because you’re a freelancer, you need to know more about accessibility. I’m gonna show you even more resources right now.

Test Your Site

So the first resource I want to brag on is Tenon, who of course sent us John Watts, the accessibility specialist, to talk to our group. Accessibility as a service. This website has an incredible amount of education on it, you just kind of go through see the different tools that they’re suggesting, and you can come right here to this section on the link I’ll put in the description box below. Type in your website address and click test now, and it’ll spin out a report basically telling you what your issues are, and you can go address them then.

Accessibility Statement

Another major thing you want to have available on your website is your accessibility statement. Which basically tells your visitors, hey I absolutely want to include you, we are an inclusive company, we are an inclusive brand, and we want to be accessible to all no matter any of their disabilities.

So this type of statement is one of your first steps, to be sure to share that message with folks. This, if you walk through each one of these tabs, you can easily work through and, and, create your content, and then generate and accessibility statement.

What you would do from there is, go back to your WordPress website, click new page, type this in there, put at the top accessibility statement as the title of the page, and publish it. Once you publish that you can go down to the bottom of your WordPress website and you want to add it, if you can see right down here at the bottom, right where your site map link, or your privacy policy, your terms of use whatever you might have down here in your copyright area, you want to add in your accessibility statement. Be sure its clickable, they’ll click over, and be able to read through your statement that you’ve already generated.

Did You Receive an Intent to Sue Letter?

So the last resource I want to give you is, is seriously what happens when you receive an intent to sue letter, or an email saying that they’re going to sue you because your website is not accessible, what do you do? This is a resource that Tenon recommends, this is listed on their website, so I’m going to recommend this as well.

You can read through here, again, a lot of really good information to help prepare yourself, and educate yourself on the topic, and basically what to do if you receive on of those, and I tell you, they’re typically very real. Its kind of sad that its taken us so long to have this aha moment of, we need to be accessible for all, but I’m thankful that you’ve sat through this video, that you’re starting to educate yourself more and more on this process, I’m gonna put a lot of resources in the description box below, click show more, open that up, jump over to my blog, you’ll see all of them there as well.

None of these are affiliate links, this is just full information I want to offer to you, because its important that we are all diligent in making our websites accessible to all. I hope you’re having a great WordPress Wednesday, I’ll see y’all next week, bye everyone.

Accessibility Tools & Resources