Web Accessibility

Making Websites Accessible

What is an accessible website? An accessible website is a site that can be used by all of your visitors, including those with disabilities, no matter what tools they use to navigate the web.  Some of your visitors may have reduced vision and use a screen reader to listen to websites. Other visitors may have limited motor skills and use a keyboard instead of a mouse. Accessible websites allow all users to access the information they need with the least difficulty possible. How do I make a website accessible? Making websites accessible is not difficult if you start some basics: …

Accessibility-ready WordPress themes are just part the puzzle

WordPress has become one of the most common platforms for websites and accessibility-ready WordPress themes are a positive new trend in that growing market.  Almost 25% of websites are now powered by the popular CMS (Content Management System). With it’s increasing popularity has come a focus on the accessibility of those sites and that’s great news. Thankfully, for the past few years, a team of dedicated volunteers has been driving the improvement of both the administrative back-end of the platform along with the themes that are available for site owners.  In fact, there are now almost 100 accessibility-ready WordPress themes …

Building accessible websites: What not to do

Chocolate Chips and cookies

And another call comes in. They all seem to be the same lately. Caller: Hi, I was referred to you by a mutual colleague. I /our agency recently built a website and it’s ready to launch. We discovered that we needed the site to conform to AA web accessibility standards. Can you check the site for us and tell me what would it take to make it comply?   Me: It’s always best to put the chocolate chips in the cookie before baking them (shout out to Billy Gregory for that gem). Caller: (nervous chuckle) Good analogy.   Me: Have …

The WordPress time bomb that may ruin your day

Woman screaming

The call or email goes something like this:  “Help!  I’ve been hacked. My website has been down for over a day now. We are losing business!” We are starting to see what we predict will be a very bad trend that will affect a large number of the organizations that are buying WordPress websites. And those organizations have no idea …. until it’s too late. It’s not unusual for the average web designer to buy WordPress themes, customize them, and put them on cheap hosting. Everyone is proud of the new website.  It looks great. Your organization puts out an announcement, everyone compliments your …

Web accessibility: Why it’s time has come

Having an accessible website means that your site is built in a way that enables anyone with a disability to interact with it. The Ontario AODA legislation kicked in January 1, 2014.  It is now mandatory for any company with 50 or more employees to make their new website or new web content accessible to meet WCAG 2.0 standards. The 370,000 businesses in Ontario with less than 50 employees need to pay attention as well. What level of WCAG 2.0 should you meet? Think of WCAG 2.0 as the ISO standard for web accessibility. It is the technical standard web designers use …

Helping you Understand the New Web Accessibility Law as it Relates to your Website

As of January 1st, 2014 the next phase of the AODA (Accessibility for Ontario Disabilities Act) came into effect and there are 2 important dates to note with regard to web accessibility: First important Date –  Effective January 1st, 2014: If you have more than 50 employees and you  launch a “new website” or your existing website undergoes a “significant refresh” then your site and any of its content published after January 1st, 2012 must conform to WCAG 2.0  Level A. So if you have more than 50 employees and need to make changes to your website now you need  to interpret the new …

Why It’s Important to Build your own Template

When building a website, one of the first steps in the process is creating a look and feel for your site, often called a theme or template. If you are using a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, there are many pre-made templates available from various sources around the Internet either for purchase or for free. Although you may be tempted by the idea of a “free” website, it’s in your best interest to have your website’s theme created by a reputable developer. Unique For all the popular Content Management Systems, it’s possible for your developer to …