What is accessibility?
Accessibility is all about making the web available for everyone – including elderly users and users with disabilities. It doesn’t just apply to websites, it is relevant across all web products including email and online apps, and with over 11 million people registered disabled in the UK it’s more important than ever to make sure that these products are accessible.
Why is it important?
Firstly, because it’s law. In 2010, the Equality Act was released – replacing previous anti-discrimination legislation, and containing specific sections on dealing with accessibility needs for disabled and elderly users.
There is also a code of practice which provides guidance on how to meet the accessibility requirements in the Equality Act, which serves as a framework of accessibility in building web products – and the impacts of poor accessibility.
The UK Government, RNIB and W3C – a consortium that develops and implements web standards – each have accessibility requirements and guidelines which help to advise on how to make web products easier to use. The RNIB in particular have been quick to criticise sites that do not conform, giving high levels of press to sites that are not accessible for users.
We’ve got much more information on Accessibility and the tools we use to make sure the web products we work on are accessible to all users - Accessibility Information:
Thanks to Jonathan Hassell, one of the authors of the British Standard, for this presentation of UK Accessibility Guidelines.