You are probably aware that the website you are looking at right now is not 100% compliant. The web is experiencing a lot of change now, with HTML5 replacing Flash as the standard for video and animation content on websites. Other changes are occurring, too – many websites are turning to responsive design, which offers increased usability for people using mobile devices.
This all sounds great, but what does it mean for accessiBe WordPress? Don’t worry; this article will give you the low-down on what exactly is happening. If your website was created with Flash, then, unfortunately, your website won’t be accessible to people using assistive technologies like screen readers or voice recognition software.
Enter accessiBe WordPress to save the day!
accessiBe is a WordPress plugin that was created to make your website fully compliant. It enables you to remove Flash and Java elements from your website while still using HTML5 for video and animation content. What’s more, it will also allow you to use responsive design, so your site looks fantastic whether people are viewing it on desktops, laptops, mobile devices, or tablets. If your website currently uses this type of technology, then congratulations – accessiBe WordPress has just made it accessible!
So how does accessiBe work? The process varies depending on what type of technology your website is using. If you have an older site with Flash based content, then you will need to download a plugin that will do the reformatting for you. You can then copy and paste your HTML into the plugin to make it fully compliant. This process is still ongoing, but at least you know your website is now accessible thanks to accessiBe!
If your site was created more recently (in this case, 2010 or later), then there’s no need to worry; like with Flash content, accessiBe has its own plugin which automatically converts your website. All you have to do is download and install the plugin – easy! If everything worked successfully, congratulations; your website now meets compliance standards for Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as well as WCAG 2.0 AA. Your users will now be able to visit via keyboard alone or via customized assistive technologies like screen readers.
accessiBe WordPress works with all major browsers, including Internet Explorer 7 and 8, Firefox 3.6+, Safari 4+, and Chrome 2+. If you’re running an older version of any of these browsers, then your website will still be accessible; it just won’t meet compliance standards for Section 508 or WCAG 2.0 AA standards (ultimately, this is up to you). Try updating your browser if possible – it’s free, easy to do, and there are loads of benefits!
What about my current website? Can I make it compliant using accessiBe WordPress?
No existing website can be converted directly into a fully Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 AA compliant website using accessiBe WordPress – yet! The plugin works by replacing Flash with HTML5, so if your site was created using Flash, then you will first need to convert it to HTML5 via third-party software such as Swish or Adobe Edge Animate before you can use the plugin. Unfortunately, older websites that were built in Java cannot be made accessible at all without converting them to HTML5 first; accessiBe WordPress does not support Java formats for accessibility means they aren’t covered under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act or WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines (although may change in future).
To read more on topics like this, check out the technology category.