Joomla! Help Support Warrington Cheshire Manchester Merseyside UKJooa11y - The Joomla Accessibility Checker - is an accessibility and quality assurance tool that visually highlights common accessibility and usability issues.

When used whilst writing website content, website administrators and content writers can avoid many kinds of accessibility issues (or errors).

The Accessibility Checker indicates errors, provides warnings, and displays on-screen tooltip guidance for how to resolve issues.

We use the Accessibility Checker when editing our own company websites and can confirm that our content-writing skills have improved as a result!

Read more: Jooa11y - The Joomla Accessibility Checker.


Why use the Accessibility Checker?

First, its use will make your website and its content more accessible to all users. and thereby provide them with a more positive experience.

As a result they may stay on your website for longer and even make repeat visits.

This will in turn improve your website's performance in search engines.

If you are responsible for a public sector organisation website in the UK then its use will also help you comply with UK law.

In 2018 UK law was changed to require that public sector organisation websites comply with Level AA of the WCAG 2.1 Accessibility Guidelines.

Not all public sector organisations are affected.

If your website is affected and you need some help, just ask.

Read more: Understanding the new accessibility requirements for public sector bodies.

Using the Joomla Accessibility Checker

In a WYNCHCO Website Design the Accessibility Checker Plugin is disabled by default.

Reason: to avoid the plugin inadvertantly broadcasting accessibility issues to the world before you have had a chance to fix them.

So you will first need to enable the Plugin.

And then change its settings to suit your needs.

For example: toggle the Access setting to either Special or Super User, depending on the access level assigned to whoever is responsible for editing website content.

There is a useful guide at the following link, but the Accessibility Checker is very easy to use.

Read more: How to use the Accessibility Checker.


Change Plugin Settings

You can change the Joomla Accessibility Checker Plugin's settings in your website's Dashboard.

To open the Plugin screen, select Plugins from the Site Panel after signing in.

plugins accessibility checker 1

Click its name to view and change its settings.

Left side of screen

To use the Accessibility Checker, toggle the Show Always setting from OFF to ON.

plugins accessibility checker 2

Right side of screen

Then toggle the Access setting to the level of access assigned to whoever is going to use the tool to check website content for accessibility issues.

And finally publish the Plugin.

plugins accessibility checker 3 

When done you may wish to unpublish the Plugin until it is again needed.

If you choose to keep it enabled then be sure to select the appropriate Access level.

Using the Accessibility Checker in the Front End

Having changed the settings and published the Plugin, you will see a button (blue circle) appear in the bottom-right corner of your browser screen when you navigate through your website.

If you have selected Access Level = Special, then the button will only be visible after you sign into the Front End.

The first image below shows the button indicating a Warning.

plugins accessibilitychecker front end 1

Hover over the Question Mark (highlighted in the above image) and you will see a Tooltip appear (highlighted in the image below).

The Tooltip offers guidance for how you may respond to the warning.

plugins accessibility checker front end 2

In this instance we choose to ignore the warning.

Reason: CMS is an acronym, being the first three letters of Content Management System.

If the phrase had been CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM then, having been prompted, we would change the phrase (to Content Management System)  in response to the warning, and thereby improve accessibility.

We would hopefully also learn from this experience and in future avoid using phrases comprised of capital letters.

Using the Accessibility Checker is a great learning experience!

If you see an Error message then you should act when it is reasonable and practical to do so.

For example:

  • if you have used a Heading 3 when there is no preceding Heading 2, then you should change it to a Heading 2;
  • if you have omitted an ALT attribute when inserting an image (which is not decorative) then you should add one.

And so on.


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