Web Accessibility & Speed

WordPress Mobile Speed

Updated


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WEB ACCESSIBILITY IS THE PRACTICE OF REMOVING BARRIERS PREVENTING ACCESS OR INTERACTION WITH WEBSITES BY DISABLED PEOPLE.

Con artists and predatory lawyers hunt for ADA non-compliance offenders. Their motive is profit – not public service.

There are no guarantees of never being sued – or avoiding litigation. There’s always a risk-to-benefit ratio. There is also Pareto’s principle (80/20 rule). We reduce the risk of a predatory lawsuit by 80-percent by paying attention to 20-percent of the biggest deterrents. Not all requirements for 100-percent compliance are significant. They make no difference in exposure or risk reduction. They have zero benefits. That is wasted energy.

We focus on what eliminates you as a target by exploitative lawyers threatening for ransom money. Their game is intimidation.

What’s “good enough” ADA compliance?

ADA compliance tests give different results.
The current situation is perilous because web businesses don’t know if they comply. It doesn’t matter how much they spend on compliance. It can always be challenged.

We won’t guarantee risk-free safety for ADA compliance. We want a risk-reduction strategy. Because 100% accessibility compliance is impossible, the main goal is demonstrating “due diligence.”

Due diligence is reasonable steps taken to satisfy legal requirements. Care or attention to a matter that is sufficient to avoid liability, though not necessarily exhaustive.

Improve ADA compliance for your site.

The sanest recommendation:
Fix the technical basics.

The most common ADA lawsuit complaints are about websites missing alt text, missing labels, empty links, redundant links, and missing page titles. These we can measure and fix. They are screen-reader-related information. A minimum goal is not to confuse screen readers for the blind.

97% of the world’s top one million homepages have an accessibility issue.

REFERENCE: https://blog.usablenet.com/97-of-top-websites-fail-wcag-2-test-new-study-finds

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 outlines the necessary steps for making a website accessible.

These include providing:

  • Text alternatives to non-text content.
  • Captions for multimedia content.
  • Content can be shown in different ways without losing meaning, making visual and auditory content accessible.
  • Ensuring all functionality is accessible from a keyboard.
  • Having readable and understandable content that doesn’t trigger physical reactions or seizures.

THE BIGGEST VULNERABILITIES

The most common ADA lawsuit websites complaints are missing alt text, missing labels, empty links, redundant links, and missing page titles. These are used by screen readers. The worst and most common violation is having no image ALT tag. Being machine-readable for the blind is of the highest priority.

And second, is keyboard navigation (which is built into GeneratePress by default). GeneratePress theme is accessibility-ready. It gives us a leg up on ADA compliance.

The other factor — but of lesser concern legally — is testing for color contrast issues especially for the colorblind and visually impaired.4. Proper use of hierarchy for H1, H2, H3, etc tags. Using appropriately ordered heading tags—H1, H2, H3, etc. —in your web pages makes it easier for people to understand them, especially for people with disabilities who rely on assistive technologies to browse the web. Similarly, search engines rely on these tags to interpret what your website is all about.

POSSIBLE PLUGIN SOLUTIONS –
The losers

All-in-one, multi-function ADA Compliance plugins claim “to do everything for you” is suspicious. And maybe dangerous to trust.

A list of plugin candidates:

Accessibility Widget
https://wordpress.org/plugins/accessibility-widget/
All this plugin does is allow users to change the text size from the frontend. That is not ADA compliant. Worthless.

Accessibility by UserWay
https://wordpress.org/plugins/userway-accessibility-widget/
Automatic remediation includes Automatically generated alt text, Color contrast correction, Page structure and organization resolutions, Undefined and broken link remediation. Customization Tools Include: Screen reader, Enlarged cursor, Highlighted links, Dyslexia-friendly font

Web Accessibility By accessiBe
https://wordpress.org/plugins/accessibe/
A 7-day trial before paid subscription. Subscription? No thanks.

wA11y – The Web Accessibility Toolbox
https://wordpress.org/plugins/wa11y/
The benefits of this plugin are obscure. We didn’t test it.

WP Accessibility
https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-accessibility/
WP Accessibility is not intended to make your site compatible with any accessibility guidelines. Fine. We’ll skip this one then.

WP ADA Compliance Check Basic – Most Comprehensive Web
Accessibility Solution for WordPress

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-ada-compliance-check-basic/
The claims here aren’t believable. Braggadocio.

WP Accessibility Helper (WAH)
https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-accessibility-helper/
WP Accessibility Helper helps solve accessibility problems like font size, contrast, titles and aria-label tags, and image alt tags.

One-Click Accessibility
https://wordpress.org/plugins/pojo-accessibility/
Resize font (increase/decrease), Grayscale Contrast, Links Underline, Readable Font, Link to Sitemap / Feedback / Help pages, Enable skip to content, Add outline focus for focusable elements, Remove the target attribute from links, Add landmark roles to all links. These are all minor considerations for compliance.

THE WINNING PLUGIN

WP Accessibility Tools & Missing Alt Text Finder
https://wordpress.org/plugins/tool-for-ada-section-508-and-seo/

  • Shows all the images from either the Media Library, Posts or Pages that are missing any of the 3 types of text. (Alternative Text, Description text or Caption Text) NOTE: Only ALT (alternative) text is required for ADA compliance. We bulk processed images without ALT tags.
  • Allows running an Automated A11Y Accessibility Audit to verify
    compliance.
  • Provides a free Contrast Ratio Checker.
  • Interactive (WCAG 2.1) Section 508 Checklist of recommendations and guidelines.
  • Free Accessibility resources.

WP Accessibility Tools & Missing Alt Text Finder is the plugin we chose for ADA evaluation and changing ALT text.

Making images compliant is simple.
We add the text “Decorative Image” to all images with no ALT tag text. The plugin automation makes conformance easy.

We made adjustments to the H3 hierarchy.
We verified color contrast. We added an ACCESSIBILITY STATEMENT explaining the site employs formal accessibility quality assurance methods.

WP Accessibility Tools & Missing Alt Text Finder is a heavy plugin.
But after making changes, we remove or deactivate it as a maintenance plugin. This means it won’t slow down the site.

We complete all these tasks for best-practice ADA compliance.

Don’t leave a fat, multipurpose plugin activated only use it for ADA maintenance.
Then, there is no reason ADA compliance will slow down your website.

Godspeed-

Steve Teare
performance engineer
May 2022

 

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