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3 Steps to Creating An Accessible Website

Website owners want all visitors to their site to be able to access the content. This requires ensuring the site is accessible so no one is left out. Making a site accessible is not intuitive, but once you understand the basic concepts you'll discover:

  • It is not difficult, 
  • it becomes second nature, and 
  • accessible content is better content. 

Fortunately, more and more platforms support the ability to create and maintain websites that are compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Here are steps you can take to ensure you have a site that can be accessed by everyone including the 15-20% of the population who have disabilities.

Step 1: Choose WCAG 2.0 Compliant Theme or Template

The first step is to select an accessibility-ready theme or template. Most sites allow you to search for accessible themes or templates. Some are even moving toward making them all accessible. 

While many accessibility issues can’t be addressed effectively if you have an inaccessible theme, some sites, such as Wordpress, have plug-ins that may help with common accessibility problems. 

If you are having trouble, contact your provider for guidance. They usually have a list of accessibility-ready options. 

Screenshot of W3C Web Accessibility Initiative homepage

(Image credit: W3C WAI)

Step 2: Accessible Content Creation

Once you have a theme or template chosen, or a plug-in added to solve the underlying accessibility of your site, you need to create, or re-create, accessible content for the site. 

Content remediation/creation includes: 

Here are a few resources to help you learn about accessible content:

Step 3: Develop Accessibility Testing Plan

Ensure ongoing compliance by creating a regular WCAG 2.0 AA evaluation schedule.  

cross posted at The Innovative Educator 

Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several booksand her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times,The Wall Street JournalTech&Learning, and T.H.E. Journal.