What do the options on the Web Accessibility Settings page do?

Table of Contents

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.New setting

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.

Theme/Template Content

This setting determines which theme/template files will be scanned. 

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.

Post Types & Media Library Content

This option allows you to select which post types are scanned i.e… attachments, posts, pages and custom post types. By enabling the attachment scan, media library images will be checked for issues such as missing or invalid alternate text. Attachment pages will also be scanned which will identify issues in attachment theme files. Any post types that are left unchecked will not be scanned.

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 scan of your website. Terms not selected will be ignored.

Content External to WordPress

The plugin will scan iframe sources, postscript document format (PDF) files and linked pages located while conducting a scan of your website. After identifying external sources, if you no longer wish to scan a particular item choose Ignore > This File. Linked and iframe content from external domain are ignored. It is normally best to leave postscript document format files unchecked during your initial scan. This allows you to focus on your webpage content. At a later date you can return to he settings screen and enable these options.

Excluding URLs During Website Scans

To exclude a url path or sections of your website from link crawling and 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.

Excluding Code Blocks During Website Scans

To exclude a block of code such as a large menu or slideshow of images from being scanned, include the id of the element that encloses the block of code. For example, if you have a code block that begins with

you would enter “my-id” to exclude all code inside this element.

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.

Custom Fields

This option allows you to select which custom fields should be monitored. Before custom fields will be displayed on the settings page you must first choose the post types to be scanned. 

Widgets

This option determines if widget content should be monitored. Do to a limitation in the Custom HTML widget this setting should always be enabled. 

Content Filters

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. 

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.

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. 

Justified Text

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.

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.

Options include:

  • 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 or dialog 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. 

Options include:

  • remove target attribute
  • add title attribute to links to display a notice (default)
  • add hover effect to links to display a notice  
  • append a notice to the link text 
  • append a small icon to the 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.

Tab Order Modified

Using the tabindex attribute to modify the tab order is not always a problem but because its use can become unmaintainable very quickly and it is easily forgotten when content is changed, its use should be avoided. This option is disabled by default but when enabled tabindex attributes with a value greater than 0 will be removed. 

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 add the title attribute to iframe tags that include known audio/video sources and 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 Empty Links to Aria-Label

Using the aria-label attribute on links instead of the title attribute results in less confusion to VoiceOver screen reader users. Enable this option to convert title attributes on links to aria-label attributes when no link text is found or when the link includes an image with no alternate text.  Links with the class “no-title-convert ” will be ignored.

Adding ALT Text to Font Awesome Icons

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.

Hiding Font Awesome Icons from Screen Readers

Font awesome icons used for decoration should be hidden from screen reader users using the aria-hidden attribute. When this option is enabled aria-hidden=”true” is added to font awesome icons that do not include text, title or aria-labels.

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

Tables used for presentation only should have the attribute role=”presentation”. Using the default editor you must switch to text view, locate the affected table and add 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 table and mark it as “Presentation Table”. The plugin will add the role=”presentation” attribute as the page is loaded.

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

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

Skip links are normally found in theme files and are required to allow screen reader users to bypass navigation links. Each website should have at least one skip link labeled “Skip to main content”. Define one or more skip links which will be automatically inserted into your pages. The primary skip link “skip to main content” should be listed first. 

Once a skip link is added a list of items is displayed. To remove a link, remove the check mark next to the item in the list. Learn more about adding skip links.

Correcting Missing or Incorrectly Labeled Landmarks

Landmarks provide a way to identify the organization and structure of a web page. The structural information conveyed visually to users should be represented programmatically in the markup using landmark roles. The number and type of landmarks that should be used varies but normally each page will have one header, one footer, one main, one search, and one or more navigation and complementary regions. When multiple regions of the same type exist each should include a unique label. When landmarks do not exist on your website or require unique labeling use this setting to define one or more landmarks which will be automatically inserted into your pages. Enter the role (i.e… navigation, banner, complementary, aside, contentinfo or search), ari-label, element/html tag an ID of the element to be modified in the form fields below and click “Add Landmark”. To update a form, nav or search element that does not include an ID attribute enter a parent element and ID instead. Learn more about ARIA Landmarks

Once a landmark is added a list of items is displayed. To remove a link, remove the check mark next to the item in the list. View more detailed instructions on how to use this feature.

Correct Elements Using Event Handlers to Emulate Links

If not done correctly, using javascript event handlers on elements that do not normally receive focus (i.e…IMG, DIV, SPAN, etc…) creates a problem for screen reader users. This option is enabled by default. When enable, role and tabindex attributes are added to affected elements. (tabindex=”0″ and role=”link”)

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.

 

Correct Page Anchors 

Some themes and plugins change page anchor (i.e… #maincontent) behavior to create a scrolling affect and by doing so do not move focus to the actual page content. This behavior, when not done correctly, may result in anchor links being inaccessible to screen reader users. Enable this option to correct this issue. Note: Smooth scroll may be implemented by adding html{scroll-behavior: smooth} to your custom CSS.

Correct Elementor Toggle & Accordion Widgets

Because they provide no audible indication of the state of the toggle (opened or closed), the Elementor Toggle or Accordion widget may cause confusion for screen reader users. Additionally these controls as well as the Elementor tab widget do not support use of the spacebar. When enabled this option will correct these issues.

Correct Elementor Image Box and Icon Widget Issues

Using the Elementor icon or image box widget may result in a variety of issue such as empty anchor tag or adjacent identical links. Enable this option to correct these issues using tabindex and aria-hidden.

Correct Elementor Posts Widget Issues

Using the Elementor post widget may result in a variety of issue such as empty anchor tag or adjacent identical links. Enable this option to correct these issues using tabindex and aria-hidden.

Correct Elementor Table of Contents Widget Issues

The Elementor Table of Contents widget creates links that do not change focus when clicked. This disorients screen reader users who expect the link to take them to the linked content. Enable this option to correct this issue.

Correct Image Carousel Issues

Carousels, also known as “slideshows” and “sliders”, show a collection of items one at a time (i.e… news items, images). Many image carousel plugins do not generate accessible sliders. Enable this option to correct a variety of potential issues. 

Correct Visual Form Builder Issues

The Visual Form Builder plugin creates radio buttons and captcha fields that may cause issues in screen readers. This option is enabled by default. When enable the for attribute will be removed from captcha field labels and labels on radio groups will be converted to fieldsets with legends.

Correct Gravity Forms Plugin Issues

The Gravity Forms plugin creates captcha fields that may create confusion for screen reader users. Enable this option to correct this issue.

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.

Enable Scans on the Editor Screen

This option allows you to choose how or if content should be scanned on the WordPress editor screens. Enabling scan on the editor screen will identify and update issues that have been corrected as your content is saved. This option will make saving posts slower but will save time when working with the report screen. If deep scan requires an excessive amount of time, use the disable deep scan on editor screen to only scan database content. Use the “recheck” option on the report screen when deep scan is disabled. Options include:

  • Enable deep scan on editor screen – DEFAULT
  • Disable deep scan on editor screen
  • Disable scan editor screen

File Size Limit for External Sources

This option allows you to increase or decrease the size of PDF files that will be scanned. The default setting is 25MB. Increasing the file size will allow larger files to be scanned but could result in failures and 500 server errors. If this occurs your server memory limits will need to be increased to more than 700MB to support larger file sizes.

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 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
  • monthly
  • weekly
  • daily
  • twice daily
  • hourly
  • every 30 minutes
  • every 15 minutes
  • every 5 minutes

Email Notifications

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.

Password Protected Website Settings

Websites protected by Apache Basic Authentication or a WordPress login may be scanned.  Learn more about these options.

Accessibility Widget Settings

A public facing accessibility widget may be added to your website to demonstrate your commitment to ADA compliance. This widget will include an optional compliance badge, 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.

Learn more about the web accessibility widget.

Enabling the Web Accessibility Widget

Enable this option to display the accessibility widget on your public facing website. Options include:

  1. Display the accessibility widget, tools and compliance seal
  2. Display the accessibility widget and tools (compliance seal will not be displayed)
  3. Display the accessibility widget and committed badge (users will click on a link to view the accessibility toolbar)
  4. Disable the accessibility widget

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.

Miscellaneous Settings

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.

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.

Disable Font Awesome

Font awesome is used on the public website to display web accessibility toolbar tools. If Font Awesome is already being loaded on your public facing website use this option to tell the plugin not to load it a second time.

Ignored Content

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.

Scan Rules

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.

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