Access by Design was founded by Clive and Jess Loseby in 2007.
Clive has been an international, award-winning composer for TV and Film for eight years. His credits include BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, Jaguar, Universal Studios and Walt Disney. Jess is an international award-winning Digital Artist with a long list of commissions behind her over the last 20 years. She is a full-time wheelchair user following a car crash that they were both subject to in 1989. She is also a recognised expert on accessibility – in the real world as well as the world of the internet.
When Access by Design began building websites it became clear, both then and now, that most other websites failed to meet the needs of people with disabilities. But it is not just about the needs of disabled people, it is about the needs of everyone who uses the internet in a different way. For example, the number people who used mobile phones or tablets to visit a website were very small back in 2011 – they now account for over 65% of visitors to any website!
By the same token, a blind person using a screen reader is using the same technology that can be found in luxury cars that have voice-driven navigation to allow someone to surf the internet without looking at a screen. By having an approach that is inclusive, Access by Design have always been able to ensure that as many people as possible are able to fully utilise any of the websites they have built.
All of these websites go through 83 checks prior to launch, and are still tested in Internet Explorer 7, even though that browser is over twelve years old! This is because it is not known what someone may be using to view the website on and, if it doesn’t work for them, they may not try another browser – they will just look elsewhere.
Access by Design was one of the first companies to adopt responsive design, which is a technique that allows a website to redesign itself to look good on any size screen. They adopted it within days of it being released on the World Wide Web back in January 2011. They combined it with their accessibility techniques to create a world first: Responsive Accessible Design and they have been building websites that way ever since. This was recognised when Access by Design won the Product Innovation Award in the Observer Business Awards in 2015.
In 2016 Access by Design launched Run Your Own Website. They converted one of their bespoke websites into an off-the-shelf product, competing directly with the many low-cost website builders, all of whom suffer from poor build quality, whereas Run Your Own website has passed Access by Design’s stringent standards.
It was also Highly Commended in the Product Innovation Category at the Observer Business Awards in 2018.
In twelve years of designing and building websites in WordPress, they have never bought a template from a third party – they have always coded their own, to ensure quality and integrity of code. This is important from an accessibility point of view and very important from Google’s point of view too. Google is blind, strongly favouring websites that are built properly and are accessible for everyone with a disability.
Access by Design have built in excess of 300 websites over the last twelve years for a large range of clients, including Brother Inc. (net worth over £4 billion) and are proud that each one has a bespoke innovative design with a strong build quality. In addition to Clive and Jess, they employ three full time members of staff and work within a strong network of complementary businesses.