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A History of Access by Design

Access by Design was founded by Clive and Jess Loseby in 2006, specialising in Accessible Web Design, Chichester.

Clive and Jess were passengers in a horrific car accident in 1989, when they were teenagers. It left them with profound, life-changing injuries. They were suddenly confronted with the fact that lovely, historic Chichester, where they lived, was actually lovely, historic, inaccessible Chichester if you were a wheelchair user.

The Accident photograph is published with the kind consent of Sussex Police.
The side of the completely wrecked car in June 1989 that Clive, Jess and their friends were inCaption: The side of the completely wrecked car in June 1989 that Clive, Jess and their friends were in 

Campaign for change!

With no legal backing, as the Disability Discrimination Act did not come into force until some years later, Jess formed a pressure group and campaigned to change this. As a result of her tireless campaigning, 4000 dropped kerbs were put in by the Council and, one by one, all the historic, inaccessible listed buildings in Chichester began to change and found that they could become accessible after all. She changed the face of Chichester.

What about websites?

Wind the clock forward to 2006. Clive and Jess started a web design agency. That was when Jess discovered that, although the physical world was now more accessible than it had been previously, as far as the Web was concerned, it was like being back in the 1980s!

The only websites that were accessible for disabled people were ones that were, frankly, not very nice to look at and this offended Jess’s sensibilities, as an artist. Jess then also discovered that there were guidelines in place to ensure that a website could meet the needs of disabled people. These were known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and had been in place since 1999!

What is in a name?

We came up with the name Access by Design because we wanted to prove to the world that you could have a website that was well-designed, whilst also being fully accessible for disabled people.  

Although Jess has not been part of Access by Design for many years, those same principles will always be the guiding force behind every website we build now, and in the future.

Digital Accessibility Audits

Access by Design have always been on a mission to Change the World, One Website at a Time. They do not just do this with the websites they build but they share their knowledge with other agencies through their accessibility testing. They have an amazing team of disabled people who bring incredible indsights through their lived experience

Clive is a recognised authority on digital accessibility and is a passionate speaker on the subject.
Please watch the TED Talk that he gave in February 2022 to understand what website accessibility actually is and how you and your customers can benefit from it.

The great thing about working with Access By Design is that they know everything. However small your project, they will bring a vast hinterland of knowledge to it. They'll tell you what's going to work, how it works and how you can make it better. The fact that they have devised software to make websites usable and readable for everyone speaks volumes. Clive Loseby always goes the extra mile to see that you get what you want. He'll even recommend things that have nothing to do with website design. I should also thank Polly for her patience and creativity in making it happen.

Michael Pilgrim
Highbrook Media

Our name tells you what we do!

The Disability Discrimination Act became law in 1995 and was replaced by the Equality Act in 2010. Physical access to buildings for disabled people has therefore been a legal right for many years. This same legal right also applies to websites and accessibility guidelines were first issued as far back as 1999. Sadly, according to the World Health Organisation, 96.1% of websites tested in 2020, failed to meet basic accessibility standards.

At Access by Design, we have always done things differently. Our mission is to prove that it is possible to have a website that is both fully accessible and beautifully designed, following principles laid down by Jess.

In 2011, we created the world’s first fully accessible website that was also both mobile and tablet friendly and we have been doing the same with every website built since.

This was recognised when we won the Product Innovation Award in the Observer Business Awards in 2015.

We also were Highly Commended in the Product Innovation Category at the Observer Business Awards in 2018.

We are also finalists at the Chichester and Bognor Business Awards 2024, in the Digital Excellence Category

This artistic image features a sleek and modern arrangement of a smartphone, laptop, and tablet set against a clean white background. Each device is vibrantly colored, with the smartphone in blue, the laptop in red, and the tablet in green. The composition is minimalist, focusing on simplicity and elegance, with soft and even lighting that highlights the smooth surfaces and colorful edges of the devices. The overall aesthetic is visually appealing and modern.

Parallel to their innovative work within website design, we also act in an advisory capacity to other web design agencies, through offering training and support.

Our ethos is to put accessibility first in everything that they do.

Changing the World.

One Website at a Time.

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Whatever brought you here, whether you are looking for a new accessible website, an accessibility audit or help with any other aspect of digital accessibility, we are here to help you.

Please get in touch with us today!