How Can WordPress Accessibility Plugins Help You With Themes

Given that one in every four American adults identify as having a disability, working to provide equal access is a simple way to expand your audience. Fortunately, some designers and developers are beginning to prioritize web accessibility, and many WordPress accessibility plugins do not compromise your design's accessibility. Some plugins could help make your web design more accessible.


It's important to remember that most WordPress themes are unlikely to be available immediately. However, if you have a custom-designed theme, you can still make your website accessible with WordPress accessibility plugins.


Choosing an Accessible Theme

Unless otherwise specified, you should assume that a theme is not accessible since making a theme accessible requires a significant amount of effort and testing.


In most cases, you get what you pay for, so commercial themes typically provide more effort, attention, and support than free themes. If your website is important enough, you should consider purchasing a paid accessible theme rather than using a free one.


Unfortunately, making a good decision regarding paid themes is a little complicated. There are no checks and balances to ensure that those advertised as "accessible" or compliant with WCAG guidelines actually are accessible and WCAG-compliant. Many of the themes labeled "accessibility-ready" have apparent accessibility issues.


Thus, it would be best to begin by researching long-standing, reputable theme providers who have positive feedback and a commitment to WCAG 2.1 AA compliance.


However, with any theme, whether free or premium, it is best to conduct testing yourself rather than simply taking the theme provider's word for it. In addition, you should note that you can make an accessible theme inaccessible by installing inaccessible plugins or making poor design choices. The most pressing issues are adequate contrast and using more than just color to convey information. For example, if your links are only distinguishable because they are colored differently from the rest of the text, you have an accessibility problem. They should be in a different font, bolded, or, ideally, underlined.