For any business it’s important that your services are accessible to as many people as possible, this includes your website. I can help you make simple changes to make your website more accessible and write an accessibility statement for your website. Get in touch to talk about what you need.
I can also test your site to meet specific accessibility levels should you require. See below for more information on Accessibility Audits.
Why is it important to be accessible?
Reach the widest audience possible
Your customers are a diverse group of people with a wide variety of skills and experience. They may also be faced with physical and technological disabilities which can make it difficult for them to access the web. If your website is accessible, every member of your target audience can get your message whatever barriers they face.
The following statistics help illustrate the type of disabilities that hinder web use:
- There are 10.4 million disabled people in England and Wales, that's one in five of the total population. (Source: Disability, England and Wales: Census 2021 - ONS)
- Colour blindness affects 7% of males and 0.5% of females. Thats more than 3% of the population. (Source: Everyeye)
- From the age of about 40 … as people age their vision becomes more blurred; they can see big things just as well, but have difficulty with the details. (Source: Everyeye)
- About 2 million people in the UK (over 3%) have significant sight loss and over 350 thousand (0.6%) are registered blind or partially sighted. (Source: RNIB)
- Using a mouse is difficult or impossible for a large minority of users with restricted movement and/or control of their hands and arms. (Source: Access IT)
There are also technological considerations from slow internet access to outdated company software.
Compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act
Making your website accessible makes economic sense but is also a legal requirement. In order to be compliant with the DDA the RNIB recommend your website should at minimum meet the basic A (or Single A) level of the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) but you should aim for AA (or Double A).
This is what the DDA says:
Where a provider of services has a practice, policy or procedure which makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled persons to make use of a service which he provides, or is prepared to provide, to other members of the public, it is his duty to take such steps as it is reasonable, in all the circumstances of the case, for him to have to take in order to change that practice, policy or procedure so that it no longer has that effect.
The WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) website has lots of resources about web accessibility and how to make your website accessible: www.w3.org/WAI
AA rating for public sector websites
Government guidelines that came into force in 2020 set a legal duty for public sector websites to meet specific accessibility requirements. The accessibility tests they are required to meet are the WCAG 2.1 AA (Double A) standard: accessibility.campaign.gov.uk
If you need an audit to asses the provide a WCAG A rating I can do the necessary tests with the recommendations for improvement and a retest where needed.
During this process I can do the tests, mark up any issues, and do any fixes to the code or content in order to pass the tests. I’ll then prepare the report to include on the website along with an accessibility report.
In order to make sure the website stays accessible I can include a sharing session where we look at the accessibility issues that have been flagged, how they might cause issues for users and how to ensure content is accessible in the future.
Get in touch to get advice and to discuss what you need.
“Kate Watkiss has been managing Ensemble Cymru's website (Wordpress) for many years and is brilliant to work with. Super efficient, organised, and really approachable. She always seems to make time for us and has such a great eye for detail. Despite limited resources we always feel we get full value for them. Thank you Kate.”
Peryn Clement-Evans CEO & Artistic Director, Ensemble Cymru