Website Accessibility - Liverpool Web Design by Web Star Creations

Website Accessibility

What is 'Website Accessibility'?

Everyday devices such as ramps to allow wheelchair access into buildings and Braille numbering on lift buttons all serve to increase accessibility. An accessible website is one which can be accessed by abled and disabled people alike without discrimination.

Why you should be concerned about Website Accessibility

If you provide goods or services via a website then you should be aware that the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Part III - Access to Goods and Services came into force on 1st October 2004. This states that it is unlawful to treat a disabled person less favourably because they are disabled, service providers have to consider making reasonable adjustments to the way they deliver their services so that disabled people can use them, service providers may have to consider making permanent physical adjustments to their premises. If you operate a website for your business then it will fall under the jurisdiction of this law.

Another prime reason to be concerned about website accessibility is that you could be preventing disabled as well as able-bodied users from using your website. Considering that an inaccessible website could lose you able-bodied customers, but also a share of the 80 billion that disabled people in UK spend every year.

Did you know?

  • Colour blindness affects approximately 1 in every 12 men and 1 in every 200 women.
  • There are around 2 million people in the UK with a sight problem.
  • There are 10 million disabled people in Britain or 1 in every 5 people.
  • Those 10 million disabled people have a combined, annual spending power of 80 billion.
  • There are over 12 million people in the UK aged 60 or over.
  • The Disability Rights Commission (DRC), published a report in April 2004 that found 99.8% of websites were inaccessible or difficult to use for disabled people.
  • The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Part III - Access to Goods and Services came into force on 1st October 2004.
  • Disability is a commonly used, wide reaching term encompassing not only wheelchair users, but also people who suffer from diabetes, depression, colour blindness, Downs syndrome, visually impaired and other types of impairment.

How can you tell if your website is inaccessible?

There are some common features that might indicate an inaccessible website:

  • Large or heavy dependance upon images without offering a text alternative.
  • JavaScript
  • Flash
  • Frames
  • Tables used for layout instead of data
  • Obsolete HTML tags

Whilst use of these features might suggest possible inaccessibility, a websites accessibility is only properly determined through an evaluation by an accessibility specialist.

Take action now

To get an idea of what it might be like to experience your website as a disabled user please try this text browser simulator or submit your website address into the form below.

This tool provides a useful insight into how your website might be presented to someone using a non-standard browser e.g. speech or Braille based. How easy do you find it to navigate?

Website Accessibility Evaluation

If you'd like a website accessibility evaluation for your website please contact us for more details.

References