To configure the plugin go to Settings > Web Accessibility Settings, choose your options and click “Save”. After each new release, new settings will be marked for easy identification .
The minimum required settings to review and configure will be marked with a red bar.
Content to Monitor
By default the plugin scans widget, theme, terms, external sources, post and page content when a scan is started on the Error Report screen. Post and page content and term descriptions are scanned as they are saved. The options under the “Content to Monitor” section define the content to be scanned.
This setting determines which theme/template files will be scanned. These options are only available when the Deep Scan option is selected.
Blog Home: This is the home page of your website.
404 Page: The 404 template is used when WordPress cannot find a post, page, or other content that matches the visitor’s request.
Search Page: The search results template is used to display a visitor’s search results.
Author Page: The author page template is used whenever a visitor loads an author page.
Content External to WordPress
The plugin will scan css files, iframe sources and linked pages located while conducting a deep scan of your website. These options are only available when the Deep Scan option is selected. After identifying external sources, if you no longer wish to scan a particular item choose Ignore > This File. An option is also available to enable or disable the scan of css and iframe content from external domains. Linked content from external domain are ignored.
Excluding Content During Website Scans
To exclude a url path or sections of your website from link crawling and deep scanning enter a url path and save your settings. Any url that includes the path will be ignored.
Once an exclusion is added a list of items is displayed. To remove an exclusion, remove the check mark next to the item in the list.
Media library images can be scanned for issues such as missing or invalid alternate text. This is helpful when not using the deep scan option and the featured image option is used on your website. When using the deep scan option, attachment pages are scanned which will identify issues in attachment theme files. The deep scan feature is not limited to images, attachment pages for all attachment types will be scanned when this option is checked.
This option allows you to select which posts, pages and custom post types will be scanned. Any post types that are left unchecked will not be scanned during basic or deep scans and will not be checked when the update/publish button is selected inside the WordPress Editor.
Terms and Categories
This option allows you to select which term or category descriptions will be scanned when content is saved as well as which archives are scanned while conducting a deep scan of your website. Terms not selected will be ignored.
This option allows you to select which custom fields should be scanned. Before custom fields will be displayed on the settings page you must first choose the post types to be scanned. Since custom field content is normally displayed along with the post content by your theme files the selection of custom fields is optional when using the deep scan option. The selection of custom fields when using the deep scan option may result in duplicate errors being displayed in the report log but will make it easier to locate errors when correcting issues.
This option determines if post excerpts should be scanned. This setting is optional when using the deep scan feature and when html code is not used in post excerpts. When this option is enabled along with the deep scan option it may result in duplicate errors being displayed in the report log but will make it easier to locate errors when correcting issues.
This option determines if widget content should be validated. Do to a limitation in the Custom HTML widget this setting should always be enabled. When enabled while using the deep scan option it may result in duplicate errors being displayed in the report log but will make it easier to locate errors when correcting issues.
This option allows you to select which shortcodes should be executed before content scanning takes place. Enabling this option sometimes helps the plugin to locate issues in shortcode content and identify issues that are being automatically corrected. Because of the wide range and unpredictability of shortcodes this option should be used carefully. Support for shortcode validation varies and shortcodes can break the validation process. Be sure to run a complete report after modifying these settings to ensure new short codes do not break the validation process. WordPress built in shortcodes (ie… audio, video, embed, etc…) have been thoroughly tested and are enabled by default. These built in shortcodes may not be turned off.
Note: Issues in shopping cart shortcodes will not be detected unless an item has been added to the cart so be sure to add an item to the cart before executing a scan.
The plugin includes various options for correcting issues as they are displayed on your website. By default all content output by WordPress is filtered. Use these settings to control the content and issues that are corrected on your website.
Enable Content Filtering
Content filtering is enabled by default. Use this option to disable or re-enable filtering of website content.
Correcting Errors in Theme Files
This option is turned on by default and activates a hook that filters the html output just before it is displayed to users. This option allows the plugin to filter all the content, including those issues in theme files. This option should be enabled unless you encounter problems. If issues occur you should disable the option and report the problem. When disabled, errors found in non theme file content are still corrected based on the settings described below.
Excluding Content from Content Filtering
Normally you should filter all content to ensure compliance but there may be times when you encounter a page or section of your website that you do not want to be filtered. To exclude pages or sections of your website from content filtering enter a slug and save your settings. Any url that includes the slug will be ignored when filtering content.
Once an exclusion is added a list of excluded items is displayed. To remove an exclusion, remove the check mark next to the item in the list.
Reporting Auto Correct Errors
This option determines if errors that are automatically corrected should be displayed in the error report and when saving your pages. By default errors that are being automatically corrected in your content are not displayed when saving a post or page and are hidden from view on the report screen. By choosing View: Auto Corrected or ALL you can see the issues that exist in your content but that are being filtered out as they are displayed to your users.
- during scans and while editing content
- only during scans and not while editing content (default)
Absolute Font Sizes
This option is turned on by default and will automatically change absolute font sizes such as pixels or points to percent. You have the option of changing them to ems or turning this feature off.
Many people with cognitive disabilities have trouble with blocks of text that are justified (aligned to both the left and the right margins). This option is turned on by default and will automatically change justified text to left aligned. You have the option of changing justified text to left or right aligned or turning this feature off.
Redundant Alt Text
When the text included in a caption, or title attribute is the same as that included as alt text for an image it results in stuttering when read by a screen reader. This option is turned on by default and will remove redundant alt text on images with captions, titles on images with alt text and links with title attributes.
In Page Links
Links to content within the same page can create confusion for users. Enabled by default, this option adds a visual indicator to links that point to locations within the same page.
- add small icon to the body of the link
- add hover effect to the link
- do not filter links
PDF & Other Non HTML Links
PDF and other non HTML document types may contain accessibility issues or be opened in an external application creating confusion for users. Enabled by default, this option adds a hover indicator to links that might open an external application or otherwise create confusion for users.
- add small icon to the body of the link to indicate the file type
- add hover effect to the link to display the file type
- do not filter non html content links
Links that Open a New Window
Opening a new window without first notifying the user can disorient them. This option allows the affected code to be automatically removed or a message/icon added to each link to notify the user that the link will open a new window.
- remove target attribute
- add hover effect to links to display notice “opens in a new window” (default)
- append (opens in a new window) to link text
- append a small icon to link text
- do not change
Empty Heading and Anchor Tags
Some screen reading software allows blind users to tab through headings and links on a page. An empty heading or link will present no information to the user and may introduce confusion. By default empty headings, tables and links are removed from content as pages are displayed.
Unlinked Email Addresses
Including email addresses in content without linking them to a contact form or converting them to mailto: links creates problems for screen reader users. When enabled, this option will correct unlinked email addresses by converting them to mailto: anchors.
Adding Titles to Iframe Tags
The title attribute must be added to all FRAME and IFRAME tags with appropriate text to describe the purpose and/or content of the frame. This option is enabled by default and will add a title attribute with descriptive text to each IFRAME tag generated by WordPress from shortcodes as well as IFRAMES with a known source such as embeded youtube.com or hulu.com videos. The title will be crafted based on the type of content provided on the particular website. For example the title tag for an IFRAME that includes a Youtube video will include the text “Video on Youtube.com”. To further improve accessibility and avoid redundancy in title tags, use the shortcode with a unique title attribute.
This option will also convert urls used as link text in audio and video embed codes to a screen reader friendly equivalent. (i.e.. Video or Audio Player)
Converting Title Attributes on Non-Empty Links to Aria-Label
The title attribute can be used to provide supplemental information to improve the accessibility of links. The information in the title attribute is shown to visual users as a tool tip when hovering over the object with the mouse and read as supplemental information to screen reader users. The aria-label attribute may be used to replace linked text for screen reader users. The information included in aria-label will replace the link text for screen reader users but is not shown to visual users. The following settings will improve the accessibility of links by allowing title and class attributes to be added to links using the linking tool and without having to switch to text view. The title attribute will be converted to aria-label attributes based your selection below.
- Add the title and class options to the linking tool. (default)
- Do not add title or class options to the linking tool or convert title attributes.
- Convert title attributes to aria-label attributes on links with link text that is the same as other links on the page. (links with the class no-title-convert will be ignored)
- Convert all title attributes to aria-label attributes. (links with the class no-title-convert will be ignored)
Converting Title Attributes on Empty Links to Aria-Label
Non image icons such as font awesome are frequently used inside links without link text. Either a title or aria-label attribute must be used to provide alternate text. Enable the following option to add aria-label attributes to empty links based on the user defined settings below. (links with the class no-title-convert will be ignored) Learn more about adding alternate text to Font Awesome Icons.
Removing Autoplay from Embeded Audio and Video Content
If any audio plays automatically for more than 3 seconds, either a mechanism must be available at the top of the page to pause or stop the audio, or a mechanism must be available to control audio volume independently from the overall system volume level. This option is enabled by default and will remove auto play parameters from embedded audio and video content.
Add Aria-Label to WordPress Generated Read More Links
When displaying post excerpts in archive and category templates WordPress normally includes a “read more” link following the abbreviated post text so users can view the full post content. Read More is ambiguous when read out of context. By enabling this option an aria-label attributes with post titles will be added to WordPress generated read more links. (i.e…aria-label=”Read more about such and such.”). There is also an option to change the linked text included in the read more link. For instance, you may want your links to display “More…”.
Improve the Usability of Presentation Tables and Images
Tables and Images used for presentation only should have the attribute role=”presentation” added to the table tag. Using the default editor you must go through the tedious process of switching to text view, locating the affected table or image tag and adding the attribute. By enabling this option a “Format” selector will be added to the WordPress Classic Editor or classic block allowing you to select the affected table and mark it as “Presentation Table” or “Presentation Image”. The plugin will add the role=”presentation” attribute as the content is displayed to your users.
If the “Format” selector is not visible on your editor screen you may need to install the TinyMCE Advanced plugin to enable this option. If that does not correct the problem your WordPress Theme or another plugin may be incorrectly configured to add the Format dropdown. Ensure that it is configured to merge the two arrays as described in this complete guide.
Correction of Invalid Alt Text on Images
Many users are in the habit of including phrases such as “Image of” or “Photo of” in their alternate text. It is apparent to the user that it is an image so these phrases should be avoided unless the fact that an image is a photograph or illustration is important. This option is enabled by default and removes phrases like “photo of” or “image of” from image alternate text.
Removing Links on Images that are Linked to Themselves
This option is disabled by default. By default, WordPress links images to themselves when they are inserted into a page. This is not an accessibility issue unless the image does not include alternate text indicating the content of the linked image but since many times images are linked to themselves inadvertently, this option allows you to remove links from images that are linked to themselves. This option does not remove links from a smaller version of an image to a larger version such as when a thumbnail links to a larger size image. Only images that link to the exact same image are effected.
Restrict HTML Tags Allowed in Title Fields
This option is disabled by default. Adding html code such as anchor tags to post titles can result in empty anchors and other unforeseen issues that could confuse screen reader users. This option allows administrators to restrict the html allowed in title values. A box is provided to enter allowed html tags. Tags entered should include opening and closing brackets (i.e…<br>)
Correct Missing Language Attributes
This option is enabled by default and will add the language attribute to html tags when missing. The default language code is English or “en” but the default language code may be changed from the settings page under the under “Miscellaneous” tab.
Correct Missing Skip Nav Links
This option is disabled by default. Skip links are normally found in theme files and are required to allow screen reader users to bypass navigation links and go directly to the main content. Enter the id of the element containing your main content and a skip link will be inserted at the top of your pages.
Correct Elements Using Event Handlers to Emulate Links
Correct Elements Using Only Mouse Event Handlers
When using a mouse event handler such as onclick an equivalent keyboard event handler must be provided for keyboard users. When enabled this option will automatically add onkeypress attributes to the affected element.
Restore Outline Styles for Focusable Elements
Some developers will remove the outline from links, buttons and other focusable content. Enable this option to apply CSS styles to restore visual indicators when an element is in focus or optionally on moused over. This option is enabled by default.
Scan & Notification Settings
The settings in this section may be adjusted to reduce resource usage on your web server. Cron scans use less resources and are a convenient way to complete the scan process.
Basic Scan: this scan validates only database content. Depending upon the selected settings, posts, pages, images, custom post types, term descriptions, post excerpts, widget content and custom field content will be scanned. If selected, shortcodes will be executed prior to scanning the content.
Deep Scan: In addition to scanning database content, this scan validates the actual page as a user sees it. Based on the selected settings it will identify issues found in any part of your website. Including pages, posts, custom post types, archives, theme files, shortcodes, widgets, iframe and css sources. This scan takes a while to complete but is very thorough.
Enable Scans on the Editor Screen
This option allows you to choose how or if content should be scanned on the WordPress editor screens. Using deep scan on the editor screen will identify and update issues that have been corrected in custom fields and other theme content as your content is saved. Enabling this option will make saving posts slower but will save time when working with the report screen. Use the “recheck” option on the report screen when this option is disabled. Options include:
- Enable deep scan on editor screen – DEFAULT
- Disable deep scan on editor screen
- Disable all content scans on editor screen
Number of Items to Scan During Website Scans
Use this setting to control the number of items of each type (posts, terms, widgets etc) to be scanned during each cycle. A lower number will result in more frequent progress updates. 5 is the default setting.
Number of Items to Scan When a Scan is Executed by WordPress Cron
Use this setting to control the number of items of each type (posts, terms, widgets etc) to be scanned during each cron scan cycle. 5 is the maximum recommended setting while running deep scans with cron.
WordPress Cron Scan Frequency
This option is disabled by default. In order for this feature to work your website must be configured to use WordPress Cron. Select from the following options for conducting automatic scans of your website. 5, 15 and 30 minute intervals settings should be used to quickly get through a website scan and not for everyday use.
- disable automatic scans
- twice daily
- every 30 minutes
- every 15 minutes
- every 5 minutes
This option is disabled by default. By entering a comma separated list of email addresses an email report will be delivered to one or more email addresses when new issues are found on the website. Additional options allow you to receive reminders when unresolved issues exist and to set the frequency in which emails are delivered. The default frequency is daily. In order for this feature to work your website must be configured to use WordPress Cron.
A public facing accessibility widget may be added to your website to demonstrate your commitment to ADA compliance. This widget will include a badge to indicate progress towards meeting ADA requirements, a link to report problems, a link to a custom statement regarding your commitment and a toolbar that provides website users with a variety of options to further enhance the accessibility of the website. A shortcode option is also available to display a simple link to the toolbar for use in your theme files.
Enabling the Web Accessibility Widget
Enable this option to display the accessibility widget on your public facing website.
Enabling the Web Accessibility Toolbar Shortcode
Enable this option to use the shortcode on your public facing website. Learn how to install the toolbar shortcode.
Including a “Report a Problem” Link
The url to your contact form may be included in this field which will trigger a button displayed inside the accessibility widget to report problems.
Including a Custom Statement Regarding your Commitment to ADA Compliance
The statement entered into this field will be displayed when a user clicks the “Our Commitment” link inside the web accessibility widget popup. This field supports only plain text.
Replacing the “Protected By” link
This option allows you to replace the protected by link in the accessibility widget with a custom logo. The custom logo is entered under White Label options on the Miscellaneous tab. This option requires a continuously active license.
Widget Icon Placement
This option allows you to choose the location in which the web accessibility widget icon will be displayed. You can choose either top or bottom.
Choosing Custom Color Options
These options allow you to define a primary and secondary color option. The primary color is used for widget header, footer and toolbar backgrounds an button links. The secondary color is used for the widget header, footer and toolbar text.
Resetting Report Data
To clear the error report database, click on “Reset Report Data” button at the top of the settings page.
Resetting Default Plugin Settings
To reset plugin settings to what they were when you first installed the plugin, click on the “Reset Settings” button at the top of the settings page.
White Label Options
White label options allow marketing firms and web designers to add their brand to the plugin when installing it for clients. While the license remains active a logo may be displayed on report pages and a logo and website url may be added to the accessibility widget displayed on the public website. If the license becomes inactive the logo will no longer be visible. Learn more about the white label options.
Errors to Display on Report Screen
Use this option to control the number of errors to display on report screen.
Display Error Summary on Report Screen
Use this option to remove the error summary from reports. This will improve performance and page loading on websites with a large number of errors.
Include the Full URL of the Affected Page in Report
Display the full URL of the affected page in a column on the full print report.
JQuery on Report Screen
This option is enabled by default. Use this option to disable use of JQuery on the report screen when using an unsupported browser. On modern browsers, enabling JQuery significantly improves the report screen interaction. For best results use Edge, Opera, Firefox or Chrome or Windows or Safari, Opera, Firefox or Chrome or Macintosh.
Disabling the Default WordPress Image Linking Behavior
This option is enabled by default. By default, WordPress links images to themselves and remembers the users last choice when inserting an image. This is not an accessibility issue unless the image does not include alternate text indicating the content of the linked image. The plugin gives you the option to turn off this behavior and require users to make the decision to link to the file thus avoiding issues that may be unknowingly introduced into your website.
Relative Font Sizes in the WordPress Editor
This option is enabled by default. The default WordPress font size selector, when enabled sets the font size as points. Points are an absolute size and do not allow the user agent to effectively scale the content. This option allows you to convert the default font size selector to use relative units either percent or ems. If a font size selector is not present in your editor it will be added.
If the font size selector is not visible on your editor screen you may need to install the TinyMCE Advanced plugin to enable this option.
Include Attachments When Checking for Duplicate or Missing Titles
This option is disabled by default. If your website links to attachment pages rather than the attachment itself, this option can be used to tells the plugin to look for duplicate titles on attachment pages as well as the other post types you have selected to be scanned.
Role to Edit Plugin Settings
This option is set to administrator by default but allows you to give editors permission to change plugin setting if desired.
Primary Language Code
This option should be set to the language code used on your website and is used when checking for language related errors on your website. The default is English or en. Refer to the language code reference for the correct language code for non-english websites.
Contrast Ratio Settings
The contrast ratio between the foreground and background color of text on your website must be at least 4.5:1. When evaluating for this error the plugin can only look at CSS styles applied to a particular element. Making an assumption on the background color that could be set anywhere within a wide range of possible CSS declarations would result in many false positives. To avoid false positives when only the foreground color is set in a particular CSS element the plugin assumes that the background color is sufficient and does not report an error. Since the primary content area can be more easily predicted the plugin assumes that the background is set to white. This setting allows you to set the background color of your primary content area to something other than white. This setting applies only to text that is colored within the page editor. Use the WAVE web accessibility evaluation tool which uses client side validation to ensure full color contrast compliance.
Color Pallet in WordPress Editor
The default WordPress text color picker, when enabled, includes many colors that when displayed over a white background are not ADA compliant. Enable this option to modify the default color pallet to include some alternative colors and to mark the colors that are not compliant.
Starting Heading Level
The page title should always be wrapped in H1 elements and be displayed at the top of each page with the exception of the home page which may have the title of your website inside H1 elements. Most WordPress themes are designed to place the page title automatically. If your theme does not place the page title and it is instead entered manually using the WordPress editor this option should be changed to H1.
Justified Text Format
Many people with cognitive disabilities have trouble with blocks of text that are justified (aligned to both the left and the right margins). This option is turned on by default and will automatically remove the option to create justified text in the WordPress Editor. You may turn this option on or off. This feature affects the classic editor or a classic editor block.
External Evaluation Tools
Links to the WC3 HTML Validation services and WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation tool can be found on the all page/post list and the page editor screen. Additionally an Evaluate with WAVE link is included under the Web Accessibility menu in your dashboard. This option allows you to enable or disable these links if desired. Links to these services are provided for convenience only, the WP ADA Compliance Plugin and AlumniOnline Web Services LLC are not affiliated with WC3, WAVE or WebAim in anyway.
Plugin Settings Retention
This option allows you to retain plugin settings when the plugin is deleted. By default settings will be retained. When permanently removing the plugin this setting should be changed so the database and all associated settings are removed.
While reviewing the error report on your website you may identify files with errors that are beyond your control and that you do not wish to be reported. By choosing “Ignore” and “This File” the selected file will no longer be scanned for issues and will be displayed in this section. To begin scanning the file again, uncheck the box next to the file and save your settings.
Errors found on the website can be broken into 2 categories, described as follows:
ALERTS – issues that REQUIRE MANUAL verification or MAY BE corrected to improve web accessibility, enhance a user’s experience or avoid the possibility of inaccessible content inadvertently being introduced into a website.
WARNINGS – issues that MUST BE corrected to insure compliance with Section 508 or WCAG 2.1 LEVEL A/AA Web Accessibility Standards and insure content is accessible to users with disabilities.
This section allows you to control the errors that will be evaluated on your website. Uncheck any issues that you do not wish to be reported.