People friendly web design will not only delight humans but also win the hearts of the machines too. Many web designers do not make their websites inclusive, to their clients’ detriment.
In Great Britain, there are about 11.6 million disabled people: Disability Prevalence (PDF). Add in the fact that many ‘non-disabled’ people are colour blind or are getting older and their eyesight and mobility are diminishing. Then it is easy to see how important it is to make sure your website is accessible.
The power of the Web is in its universality.
Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.
~ Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web
Even if you don’t care about people, maybe this thought will make you think again; the search engines are disabled too.
Google and Bing are both blind and deaf. The search engines love an accessible website, this alone will do wonders for your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine positioning.
When you realise that it is not just the search engines who will show you love. That less mobile people will be able to buy from your online shop easily rather than attempt to travel to your inaccessible bricks and mortar emporium, or the elderly can actually read the text, you’re onto a winner.
What is accessibility?
Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent access to websites by people with disabilities.
The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, culture, location, or physical or mental ability. When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability.
~ W3C Accessibility
UK Web Accessibility Law
As an owner of a UK business website, you need to ensure that your website adheres to the Equality Act 2010.
The Act states that where the provision, criterion or practice, or the need for an auxiliary aid or service, relates to the provision of information, the steps which it is reasonable to take include steps to ensure that the information is provided in an accessible format.
~ Equality Act 2010 Code of Practice (PDF)
It is important to note that your content and text copy should be accessible:
Information is provided using clear accessible language, which makes it easier for some people with hearing impairment (for whom English is in effect a second language) and learning disabilities to access it.
Don’t forget your content
Which leads nicely to something really important. The WCAG AA and AAA standards are a measurement of content accessibility. So, it is not enough to make sure that you have an accessible web design, but your content producer’s should be trained in creating accessible content before they even log into the WordPress CMS. Otherwise, your beautiful inclusive design will come undone.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
Generally your website needs to meet the WCAG 2.00 AA standard. The AA standard meets most European law requirements and is a good measure of your website’s accessibility.
Accessible web design in the UK
We would love to create an accessible website for you. Contact us to learn more about accessible website services.