There has been a lot of discussion in recent months about the accessibility of the WordPress (WP) content management system. As many have noted, the majority of application elements that are related to accessibility are “controlled” by the WP theme (a.k.a., the skin or template). So if you use the wrong WP theme, you may have a very inaccessible website.
There is now a newly-recharged team of volunteers who are providing guidance to the WP core developers on the next major iteration of WP and they are always looking for more input…See Make WordPress Accessible discussion. There is also an active group over on LinkedIn. If you are on LinkedIn, search for the WordPress Accessibility group.
At the moment, the plug-in can:
- Remove redundant title attributes from page lists, category lists, and archive menus.
- Add skip links with user-defined targets.
- Add language and text direction attributes to your HTML attribute
- Remove the target attribute from links.
- Force a search page error when a search is made with an empty text string.
- Remove tabindex from elements that are focusable.
- Strip title attributes from images inserted into content.
- Add post titles to standard “read more” links.
The plug-in is intended to make up for some deficiencies commonly found in themes. It can’t correct every problem (by a long shot), but can provide some assistance.
I’ve installed the plugin in this WP blog, but the theme I have been using has been pretty accessible already. So, just call me a “belt and suspenders” kind of guy! Thanks, Joe…we’ll keep you posted on what we discover.
And it should go without saying that a content management system is only as good as the people providing content. If the content providers don’t know what they are doing, they can easily make their website inaccessible to people with disabilities. Knowledge is power!