10 Best Accessibility-Ready WordPress Themes

Creating websites that are accessible to individuals with various disabilities is increasingly becoming a necessity in the field of web design. Nowadays, securing a government contract often requires a strong commitment to digital inclusivity. Major companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google prioritize accessibility in their operations.

WordPress, a prominent content management system and blogging platform, is at the forefront of enhancing accessibility. The WordPress Accessibility (A11y) Team is dedicated to making the platform as inclusive as possible and has published an informative Accessibility Handbook for developers.

Overview of Accessibility Review

The accessibility review is an important aspect of the WordPress theme approval process. Themes labeled as accessibility-ready undergo thorough scrutiny against the accessibility guidelines to verify their compliance.

This article highlights the top 10 accessibility-ready WordPress themes, aiding in the creation of digitally inclusive WordPress sites.

Selecting the Finest Accessibility-Ready WordPress Themes

In compiling this list, we looked beyond the mere presence of the accessibility-ready tag in the WordPress repository. We focused on adherence to key accessibility design principles.

We excluded some themes that, despite being excellent in other respects, had issues like low color contrast ratios, hamburger menus on desktop versions, or other design elements that could hinder accessibility for certain disabled groups.

1. Unlimited

Unlimited is a versatile WordPress theme featuring a right sidebar. It’s designed for rapid loading and employs a high color contrast ratio (white & light gray against dark gray), catering to the needs of visually impaired users.

Unlimited WordPress Theme

Its sidebar widgets are distinctively outlined with dark gray top borders. The design includes subtle visual cues, like the prominently displayed meta information (date, author, number of comments) at the bottom of the featured image in each post, aiding in content navigation.

Explore Unlimited in action on its demo site.

2. Simone

Simone is designed with clarity in mind, showcasing large images and scalable, screen-friendly typography for optimal readability on various devices. It facilitates keyboard navigation for users with physical disabilities.

Simone WordPress Theme

Simone allows customization of several features including sidebar placement, header, background, and link colors. It’s translation-ready and available in multiple languages.

Discover more about Simone on its demo site.

3. Accessible Zen

Accessible Zen offers a minimalist, one-column layout focusing on content with minimal distractions. The theme’s color palette, shared on the creator’s blog, meets the AA level of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).

Accessible Zen WordPress Theme

Accessible Zen is unique in having no main menu in the header, allowing immediate access to content – an ideal feature for screen reader users. Links are marked with dotted underlines that become solid upon hovering, enhancing accessibility.

For a minimalist, content-centric blog theme, visit Accessible Zen’s live demo.

4. Stock

The Stock theme features a sophisticated black and white header with a centralized main menu. The high contrast ratio of black and white (21:1) is ideal for accessibility-ready sites.

Stock WordPress Theme

With its minimalistic design, Stock is translation-ready and supports RTL (right-to-left) languages, making it an excellent base for creating accessible child themes.

View the latest developments of Stock on its Github page.

5. Apex

Apex draws visitors with its clearly structured content and prominent featured images, offering a professional and impressive website appearance. The layout includes a main menu on the left and a social media menu on the right, ensuring straightforward navigation for all users, including those with disabilities and using assistive devices.

Apex WordPress Theme

Homepage excerpts are complemented by engaging ‘Continue reading’ buttons, which are attractively highlighted. Discover the full setup of Apex on its demo site.

6. Tiny Framework

The creation of Tiny Framework took 9 months, culminating in an accessible, adaptable WordPress theme. Ideal for developing a child theme that addresses the requirements of disabled individuals, Tiny Framework offers great flexibility as a parent theme.

Tiny Framework WordPress Theme

Featuring a high contrast color palette of black, orange, and green, Tiny Framework ensures easy readability with distinct colors for blockquotes, headings, and links. Its buttons are prominent, and the overall design is lively yet unobtrusive.

7. Kuorinka

Kuorinka is renowned for its swift loading times and not only supports accessibility but also incorporates schema.org microdata. It enhances navigation through breadcrumbs, a plus in accessibility design. Kuorinka enables adding brief top-page messages for clarity on the site’s key message.

Kuorinka WordPress Theme

Its sidebar and footer widget headings are emphasized with a light-blue background, aiding content segmentation. The demo site showcases features like a user-controlled slider and three layout options.

8. Aaron

Aaron stands out for company websites, featuring a prominent call-to-action button on its homepage. It boasts a high color contrast ratio, though it’s important to select background images carefully to maintain legibility. Aaron’s design supports both visual appeal and functionality.

Aaron WordPress Theme

Its top-of-the-site menu is keyboard-friendly and accompanied by a convenient search box. Aaron also seamlessly integrates with the WooCommerce plugin for e-commerce capabilities.

9. Storefront

Storefront is a versatile e-commerce theme, featuring easy WooCommerce integration and extensive customization options. Essential information like cart contents and prices are conveniently located near the main menu, enhancing user experience.

Its demo site shows an optional header image with a visible call-to-action button. Storefront categorizes products effectively, assisting disabled users, especially those utilizing screen readers.

Storefront WordPress Theme

Additionally, Storefront offers an elegant child theme, Boutique, which also supports accessibility, ideal for showcasing luxury products.

Boutique WordPress Theme
10. Author

Author is a fast, elegantly designed, accessibility-ready WordPress theme with a left sidebar. Its dark background with white text ensures a high color contrast ratio. The theme makes hyperlinks easily identifiable with underlines.

Author uses a serif typeface for headings, enhancing readability. On its single post template, adjacent posts are highlighted with a light gray background, encouraging further reading.

Author WordPress Theme