Overview of an ADA Accessibility Audit for a WordPress Website

You have to prioritize website accessibility to ensure equal access to information and services for all individuals, including those with disabilities. Hard stop. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires websites to be accessible to people with disabilities. Conducting an ADA accessibility audit for a WordPress website is the first step to identifying and fixing barriers that may limit accessibility. This comprehensive overview will explore the key components of an ADA accessibility audit, specifically for WordPress websites.

Understanding ADA Compliance for Websites

ADA compliance for websites involves adhering to the standards set forth by the ADA, Section 508, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. These guidelines outline technical requirements and criteria for making web content accessible to individuals with disabilities. ADA compliance aims to eliminate barriers and provide equitable access to digital content and services.


Before conducting an ADA accessibility audit, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the relevant guidelines and standards. Gain a clear understanding of the website's target audience, goals, and existing accessibility features. Assemble a team comprising web developers, designers, content creators, and individuals with disabilities to ensure comprehensive testing and evaluation.

Evaluating Website Structure & Navigation

Start the audit by assessing the website's structure and navigation. Verify that headings are properly structured using appropriate HTML tags (H1, H2, etc.) and follow a logical hierarchy. Ensure that menus, navigation links, and interactive elements are accessible via keyboard navigation, allowing users to navigate the site without relying on a mouse.

Assessing Color and Contrast

Color and contrast play a crucial role in making web content accessible to individuals with visual impairments. Evaluate the website's color usage and contrast levels to ensure readability. Follow WCAG's recommended color contrast ratios to ensure sufficient contrast between text and background elements.

Reviewing Images and Multimedia Content

Images and multimedia content should be made accessible to users with visual or hearing impairments. Assess whether images have appropriate alternative text (alt text) descriptions that provide context and convey the information to visually impaired users. Verify that multimedia content, such as videos and audio files, have captions, transcripts, or audio descriptions to facilitate accessibility for individuals with hearing impairments.

Ensuring Keyboard Accessibility

Keyboard accessibility is vital for users who cannot use a mouse or have limited motor control. Test the website's functionality using only the keyboard to ensure that all interactive elements, including buttons, links, and form fields, can be accessed and operated without a mouse. Additionally, ensure that focus indicators are clearly visible and that the tab order follows a logical sequence.

Reviewing Forms and Data Entry

Forms are an integral part of many websites. Audit forms to ensure they are properly labeled, have clear instructions, and are compatible with assistive technologies. Verify that error handling and validation mechanisms are in place to guide users with disabilities through form completion successfully.

Testing Assistive Technology Compatibility

Assistive technologies, such as screen readers and voice recognition software, assist users with disabilities in accessing and interacting with digital content. Conduct tests using popular screen readers to assess the compatibility of the website with these technologies. Verify that the website's content is accurately interpreted and conveyed through assistive technology.

Analyzing Content Structure

Content structure involves the proper use of headings, paragraphs, lists, and tables. Verify that headings and subheadings are used consistently and follow a logical order, aiding users in understanding the content hierarchy. Ensure that lists are properly marked up and tables have appropriate headers and summaries for screen reader users.

Verifying Link Text and Labels

Audit all links and buttons to ensure they have descriptive and meaningful text. Avoid using generic terms like "click here" or "read more" as link text. Instead, use descriptive phrases that clearly convey the purpose of the link or button. Labels for form fields should also be clear and descriptive.

Testing Responsive Design and Mobile Accessibility

In today's mobile-centric world, it is crucial to ensure that websites are accessible on various screen sizes and devices. Test the website's responsiveness and compatibility across different devices, including smartphones and tablets. Verify that all content remains accessible, usable, and appropriately formatted on smaller screens.

Addressing Accessibility Issues

Throughout the audit process, document any accessibility issues identified, including their severity and impact on users with disabilities. Classify the issues based on priority and create an action plan for addressing and resolving them. Collaborate with web developers, designers, and content creators to implement the necessary changes and improvements.

Ongoing Maintenance and Monitoring

Accessibility is an ongoing commitment. Once the initial audit and improvements are complete, establish a process for ongoing maintenance and monitoring. Regularly check for new accessibility issues and conduct periodic audits to ensure continued compliance with ADA guidelines and WCAG standards.

Conducting an ADA accessibility audit for a WordPress website requires a comprehensive evaluation of various aspects, including website structure, navigation, color and contrast, images and multimedia content, keyboard accessibility, forms, assistive technology compatibility, content structure, link text, and mobile accessibility. By identifying and addressing accessibility barriers, website owners can foster inclusivity, provide equal access to information and services, and ensure compliance with ADA regulations. Remember that accessibility is an ongoing process, requiring continuous monitoring, updates, and collaboration among stakeholders to create an inclusive digital experience for all users.