The themes were not designed for ADA compliance.
As an off-the-shelf theme designed in 2015 and updated throughout the years, this was never a concern. Much like pagespeed became a hot topic in 2019, accessibility has started receiving scrutiny in 2020.
While the theme updates are bringing us more in-line with ADA requirements, the specifics are too nuanced for a $75 theme. Among updates we've made are:
ADA compliance requires custom development from an experienced ADA developer, plus training and guidance. At this time, ADA compatible theme development/customization costs $10,000+.
Part of this has to do with liability. We are not willing to take on responsibility and risk from lawsuits for $100.
For reference, here's the accessiBe service for automated compliance.
There are things that we can do on the theme and plugin side to get you closer (eg. the keyboard-based "navigation links"), but there are things that are entirely your responsibility.
But the plugin does not offer an ADA compliance guarantee either.
At the moment, there's no easy-to-follow guide that we're aware of. For example, the WCAG 2.1 checklist is a technical document that reads like molasses and can only be implemented manually by throwing dozens of $100/hr developer man-hours at, after a $x000 dollar audit from an accessibility specialist.
This is not something that's reasonable to expect from a $75 off-the-shelf theme or $99/year plugin. We are working towards it as much as possible so that you have less work to do.
Common issues food bloggers encounter are:
- font size too small
- this is especially problematic when using a custom imported Google Font
- low contrast (eg. fancy colors that don't offer enough contrast)
- also: background colors that reduce the contrast with text
- missing alt text on images
- see this alt text decision tree on how to write alt text
- using incorrect anchor text on links
- do not use "read more" or "see all"
- using heading tags incorrectly
You can check your site's accessibility compliance using the Wave tool by Webaim.
This tool evaluates compliance on a page-by-page basis - you'll want to check your homepage, categories and posts all separately.
Prioritize your efforts on:
- the homepage
- your top 10 posts
- then work through your categories and the remainder of your posts
However, this does not automatically fix accessibility issues on your site.