Accessibility is no longer just important, it's a requirement and for certain organisations, the law.
Accessibility refers to designing and providing websites, products and digital environments that are accessible, friendly and usable for individuals who have a disability or impairment.
With new legislation and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 requirements now in force, having an accessible website is no longer just important, it’s a requirement and for some public sector organisations, the law.
The benefits of having an accessible website
By considering the user experience of people with disabilities and impairments and aiming for total digital inclusion, you’re opening your website up to a much wider audience and ensuring that no one gets left behind.
In addition to this, an accessible website will also:
Increase the effectiveness of your website
Provide better service to those who have a disability or an impairment so everyone can find what they need and when they need it easily
Reduce calls and office visits by enabling your customers to do everything they need to online
Demonstrate social responsibility
Accessibility and the law
Now that these accessibility requirements have been transposed into UK law, new public sector websites that were created after 23rd September 2018 only have 1 year to meet these requirements and any that were created before have until 23rd September 2020 to meet them.
So you either have 1 or 2 years to ensure that your website meets accessibility guidelines. Furthermore, all mobile apps must also be accessible by 23rd June 2021.
To make life a little bit easier, these universally recognised requirements are outlined in WCAG 2.1 and are set out to improve web accessibility for everyone
How can we help you with accessibility?
Accessibility in 3 minutes
Jack Niland, accessibility expert and User-Experience (UX) designer at one of our partners, Spacecraft, gives us a brief introduction into the WCAG 2.1 and how to create usable and accessible websites.
Webinar: accessibility updates you should know
On 30th January, our accessibility expert, Jack Niland, hosted a fantastic webinar about accessibility, the WCAG 2.1 updates, how to communicate them to your teams and tips on how to make your website accessible. You can watch it right here!
Everybody has a right to a web that they can use independently. Decisions made on how you implement your web projects can have a huge impact on whether or not this is possible for users. We, as content creators, have a responsibility to offer an inclusive and above all, usable experience for whoever comes to our sites.
We try to build accessibility into the way we work and present information on our website. The training we offer serves as a great refresher for the best practices to incorporate into your work as well as introducing some useful new ideas and tools and raising awareness to the rest of your team.
Our products are built with accessibility in mind so everyone can use them.
Content Management System (CMS) - we have an accessibility checker that enables you to run reports against features, such as headers, links, text, contrast and labels. This functionality gives you an idea of how accessible your content is and any areas of improvement.
Online Forms and Payments (XFP) - there are accessible controls on the drag and drop interface so you can add page elements to a section on the page using the keyboard. This is helpful for those who have problems with hand movements, for example.
Customer Experience Management (CXM) - we have accesible form validation, which informs users using screen readers when they have entered invalid data or have not entered mandatory data.
Pulsar - Our open-source design system that powers the user experience of our platforms is always building and testing accessibility for our products.
Accessibility at ShareDigital 2019
We are sponsoring at this year's ShareDigital 2019 event, which brings together those involved in enabling digital public services to link-up with their peers, learn from one another's experiences and discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Join us where one of our focuses will be accessibility, compliance with the new WCAG 2.1 and why it might be time for a redesign.