How many times have you scrolled through a website on your mobile device and the words are too small or the colour contrast is not great enough for your eyes to lift the words from the page? 

In Australia, all Government digital platforms have to meet accessibility requirements that are outlined in the Australian Digital Transformation. The NSW State government outlines important information on Inclusive Design and Accessible Content.

Working within the disability and NDIS space, I understand the importance of accessible WordPress websites in terms of content, useability, navigation. It is important to incorporate accessibility best practices within your new website build from the outset and you may want to include an accessibility plugin to assist further. 

Accessible Plugins

Plugins can range in price and features dramatically. There is no once size fits all. Hubspot has a great review of some of the best accessibility plugins for WordPress. I am working on a project at the moment and researching accessible plugins so will share more info here soon.

Dyslexie Font

Some plugins include the ‘dyslexie’ font created in 2008 to support dyslexic people. As the cofounder of Dyslexia Mid North Coast I would not recommend a plugin that includes the ‘dyslexie’ font because there is little evidence to support it. Read this article for the background or refer to speld.org.au for the research:

In conclusion, we demonstrated that low-progress readers are 7% more efficient in reading text in Dyslexie compared with Arial, matched on letter display size. However, when the spacing settings for Arial are matched to Dyslexie, the advantage disappears. Therefore, the benefit of Dyslexie seems to stem fully from its specific spacing settings. In contrast, the font’s hallmark letter shapes, which are intended to be more distinct than those in standard fonts, do not provide a benefit. In fact, our analyses show that compared with Arial, the inter-letter distinctiveness of Dyslexie is actually lower. The practical implication is that to directly increase the average reading efficiency of low-progress readers one can simply change the font’s spacing settings. There is no need to alter the shape of the letters.

 

Be cautious of your colours choices

If your bAccesssible Websites Port Macquarierand colour palette was created by a graphic designer they will have considered accessible colours. Many non profits create their own graphics using Canva.

Canva gives small organisations on a budget an affordable design option but make sure your graphics comply with accessibility guidelines before you publish. The same rules apply to social media. 

 

 

 

There are great online tools to assist. My favourite is the Site Improve Colour Checker. Both Early Connections and SPELD NSW score 84% for Accessibility. 

 

Early Connections AccessibleThis tool uses the WCAG 2.0 (the world’s authority on web accessibility) formula for colour contrast. You can add your text colour and your background colour and it will tell you if your colours will work for headlines and paragraph text. White text is popular but use with caution and always check your background colour. 

Site Improve also has a tool to check your website simply enter the URL and find out your score and ways to improve.

I will add to this list as I discover websites which showcase accessible design:

1) Women with disabilities Australia. 

  • A website by and for women and girls (15+) with disabilities
  • This website is factual and informative with large tappable buttons, easy read options and toggle text size

2) Wesley Mission

  • Features an informative accessibility statement which is a good idea to include in your website planning

3) The Disability Trust

  • Large fonts, mega menus and clear structure 
  • Accessibility plugin in top navigation bar (this one includes the Dyslexie font, contrasts and toggles)

 

Looking for inspiration for accessible websites check out this blog