What the Editoria11y WordPress plugin is and how to use it

Use this page to learn how to make the most of the Editoria11y tool on University-branded WordPress sites.

From Wednesday 3 April 2024, the University has made the Editoria11y (pronounced 'editorially') accessibility checker available on most WordPress sites provided by IT.

When logged in, owners and editors of University-branded WordPress sites will see a pop-up appear when they view site pages, and will be able to access issue information from the WordPress dashboard. The tool won't directly change the experiences of site visitors. Editoria11y won't directly edit or affect any site content. 

The Digital Accessibility site's page on Editoria11y has more information.

What Editoria11y is

It works like an 'accessibility spell checker' that finds digital accessibility issues and tells site owners and editors how to fix them. It's a simple way to make your site's content more compliant and help more people engage with the information you're sharing.

The name is a reference to the term 'a11y', which is often used as an abbreviation of 'accessibility'.

How to use Editoria11y

It will show as a small, circular pop-up when you're logged into your WordPress site and viewing live pages or previewing draft pages. (It's also labelled as 'accessibility tools' when you hover over it or it's announced by a screen reader.) When you click on it, it will tell you how many issues have been detected. Select 'First' and follow what it says.

The Digital Accessibility site's page on Editoria11y has more information about how to use the tool and how to see all of a site's issues in one place.

Why to use Editoria11y

It's the law for the University's websites to be accessible so they can be read and used by anyone, no matter if they have a disability or not.

Your site needs to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 AA. Using Editoria11y is a really quick and easy way to do this without you having to learn all the WCAG rules. The building blocks of University-branded WordPress sites are compliant already, but it's possible the content you've added or the way you've added it has made the site non-compliant.

The government conducts checks on public sector websites and may discover the issues and refer the University to the Equality and Human Rights Commission if things aren't appropriately fixed when asked. An individual may also request content be made accessible to them. If they don't feel that's done correctly, they may contact the Equality and Human Rights Commission with their case. Equality and Human Rights Commission involvement can lead to legal action and/or a fine.

The easiest way to prevent any of this is to use the Editoria11y tool on your content.