Building ADA compliant website with WCAG and ADA WordPress themes. Answers to customers' questions.
ADA compliance is starting a huge issue in the USA and we keep getting more or less advanced questions about WCAG and ADA WordPress themes but in this article, I want to present a set of questions asked by customers who are really confused about all the WCAG rule for building an accessible website for people with disabilities.
I think the main problem is that customers want to find a simple solution quickly but the fact is that it's not a simple task and building ADA compliant website requires at least the basic WCAG knowledge. Otherwise, you need to trust WCAG and ADA experts.
Q: Why am I seeing that there are different accessibility? Meaning WCAG, ADA and Section 508? Are there three different kinds of standards?
WCAG - https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/ is the official document of standards for getting web accessible for people with disabilities. ADA and Section 508 cover WCAG guidelines and as I know they apply to the USA only.
ADA - standards must be followed by all commercial and public entities that have "places of public accommodation” which includes the internet. It is recommended to use the WCAG 2.0 level AA guidelines as a guide on how to become accessible.
Section 508 - U.S. government websites and applications and those developed using US Federal funds must comply with Section 508.
Q: And also I see WCAG has Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced…this is all so confusing
There are 3 levels of availability, and it depends on your customer's requirements which one is enough for his website. I mean your customer may be forced by any law obligation to make his website, for example, WCAG AA level.
- WCAG A criteria which must be fulfilled, it’s the basic, standards are very similar to Section 508 rules
- WCAG AA criteria that should be compiled, comes with more rigorous guidelines that much improve the website's accessibility
- WCAG AAA criteria that can be met, very high requirements, getting this compliance across the whole website is a complicated task
It's hard to explain in a few words and yes, it's all confusing and it took us several years to get familiar and be up to date with necessary requirements, and we're still learning.
But please note that getting WCAG compliance it's not about the theme only, you need to take care of the correct content implementation, evaluator tools help with it, but you need to know at least basic rules of WCAG.
Q: I know you are in Poland, but does the site work on USA standards?
No matter if you live in Poland or USA, WCAG rules are the same for all countries.
Q: I am used to working with drag and drop builders and I completely understand what you are saying about them not being compliant, so can you pls explain how you did this with widgets, is it still flexible? My client liked your theme but wanted to move a lot of things – remove and add sections, etc --- how well does this work to customize it?
For me, it's better to work with widgets, but I understand when customers are accustomed to using drag and drop builders. Anyway, I may say that this ADA WordPress theme is flexible because you may edit each widget and assign to any theme area. Here you may see all themes positions and watch here 3 minutes video how to change layout position.
If need any custom services we also do customization for customers because it's normal that customers may need something additional on their website than we offer on the demo site.
At each WordPress theme manual, you may check your favorite theme flexibility, if you have any questions or doubts, let us know, we are happy to assist you.
Q: This client of mine has no clue about ADA just knows that people are being sued here in the USA that’s why he is so afraid.
Yes, we keep getting questions about WCAG and ADA website compatibility solutions and the answer is different for each customer because customers are using different CMSes, extensions, it also depends on the website type (e.g static website or eCommerce).
Recent statistics show that around 1 in 5 people in the U.S. live with one or more disabling conditions. Hundreds of lawsuits alleging ADA discrimination were filed against websites and it costs websites owners expensive and lengthy litigation.
If your customer has not specified requirements, we would recommend starting with WCAG A level - it's WCAG minimum for an accessible website. The WCAG website audit may be necessary if the website includes many pages - this way WCAG experts may estimate the website complexity and the scope of work and cost to make it at least WCAG A level.
Q: I'm very interested in this ADA WordPress theme but, I have come across a few other themes providers that claimed the site was ADA compliant and when I ran them against the ADA checker they came up with tons of mistakes. I have a very important client that needs to make sure this will be 100%.
Services WCAG and ADA WordPress theme with its demo sites have been tested with the most popular tools wave.webaim.org and achecker.ca ( follow WCAG demo version for testing). Recently we've added the WCAG compatibility with Siteimprove Accessibility Checker. Also, all our WCAG and ADA WordPress themes have been recently updated with WCAG 2.1 improvements.
WCAG and ADA compliance as you probably know is a very wide topic, and it's not about testing with evaluators only, but the knowledge of WCAG recommendations. In my opinion, it would be good if you know from your customer which ADA checker he wants or needs to use - because results may not be the same for each checker. This way you may check our ADA compliant demo websites, and then while implementing the content you may do tests to be 100% sure if your content is placed according to ADA standards.
I may guarantee that we create and improve our WCAG and ADA themes with the special care and many customers appreciate our work. For example, Services ADA WordPress theme has been used on this website https://divinemoving.com/ and we also made an ADA website audit after the customer placed the content and improved for WCAG using this tool http://wave.webaim.org/ This theme also helped one of our customers win an award for best accessibility website in Poland
Q: Is there a page builder component like beaver builder or wp-bakery in here? My client needs the flexibility to be able to move things around easily.
Our WCAG and ADA WordPress themes do not use any builders, they are widgetized and uses flexible widgets instead of builder elements. But please note that builders may not be prepared for ADA, I mean that elements used from a builder may not be compatible with ADA if you need to pass high restrictions. Anyway, there are no limits to use content builders with this theme.