Getting started

What does accessibility-ready mean?

In the volunteers community, we use the term accessibility-ready to identify themes that follow a set of minimum requirements.

Users can select the Accessibility Ready feature in the filter when searching for themes on and on

Developers can add this term as a tag to their themes in style.css

The WordPress Accessibility Team has written the requirements based on WCAG2 and all themes on and with the accessibility-ready tag are carefully reviewed and tested.

The requirements covers the following:

  • Keyboard Navigation
    •  All controls and links must be reachable using the keyboard.
  • Controls
    • All theme features that behave as buttons or links must use <button><input>, or <a> elements, to ensure native keyboard accessibility and interaction with screen reader accessibility APIs.
    • All controls must also have machine-readable text to indicate the nature of the control.
  • Forms
    • Forms must have appropriate field labels and all content within form tags need to be explicitly associated to a form control.
  • Headings
    • Theme templates should use a reasonable HTML heading structure — including the use of heading elements for page sub-sections.
    • Heading markup must not be used for presentational purposes.
    • Headings do not skip levels when descending. H1 cannot be followed by H3, etc.
  • ARIA Landmark Roles
    • Assign landmark roles to the main content areas of your site. All content on your site must be wrapped in at least one landmark role.

Links and contrast

  • Content Links
    • Links within content must be underlined.
  • Repetitive Link Text
    • Links must avoid repetitive non-contextual text strings such as ‘read more…’ and should make sense if taken out of context.
  • Contrasts
    • Theme authors must ensure that all background/foreground color contrasts for plain content text are within the level AA contrast ratio (4.5:1) specified in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 for color luminosity.


  • Images
    • Decorative images must be included using CSS.
    • Where theme authors add images to template markup or provide a method for end users to add images, theme authors MUST incorporate an appropriate alt attribute or the means for an end user to provide one.
  • Media
    • Media resources must NOT auto start or change without user action as a default configuration. This includes resources such as audio, video, or image/content sliders and carousels.

Additional recommendations

Screen reader texts are recommended, and if added, they need to be added with a valid technique.

Additionally, there is a short list of things that are not allowed, including positive tabindex attributes and opening links in new windows without warning the user.

You can read the full requirements here.

-The accessibility-ready requirements are based on WCAG2, but it is important to be aware of the disclaimer that a theme alone cannot guarantee that your website will be compatible with WCAG2 or other guidelines. Your theme is only one part of your website. Your content must also be accessible.

Requirements for all new themes on

Since fall 2019, all new themes that are added to the official theme directory are required to support a skip link and keyboard navigation.

Existing themes that are updated must also follow these requirements.

Unfortunately, the volunteers do not have enough resources to request older themes to update This responsibility lies with the theme author.