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Website Accessibility

At Access by Design we place great importance on the accessibility of our websites – opening up the internet for everyone.

What is Accessible Website Design?

An accessible website is one that can be read in a number of different formats to accommodate as many different disabilities as possible. Every site we created can be viewed in the following formats, at least:

  • Standard Size
  • Large Print
  • Dyslexia friendly (High Contrast)
  • Text Only (No styling, fully screen reader-compatible for the visually impaired)

There are always the following access options:

  • Skip to Main Content (allowing screen readers to avoid reading out the navigation menu)
  • Skip to Site Map (allow screen readers to go straight to a list of all the pages on the website)

On some sites, we will have many more accessible options, such as:

  • Standard Size
  • Large Print
  • Extra Large Print
  • Dyslexia friendly (High Contrast)
  • Text Only (No styling, fully screen reader-compatible for the visually impaired)
  • High Contrast (White on Black)
  • High Contrast (Black on White)
  • High Contrast (Yellow on Black)
  • High Contrast (Black on Yellow)
  • Easy Read

Easy Read is a brand new accessible option that we have developed in 2021 that we have not yet seen on another website. It allows the entire website to be displayed in an Easier to Read format (using the simplest uses of words and sentence structure possible) at the touch of a button.

You can see an example of a website that uses all of these options by following this link.

Accessibility also covers the readability of your site on different devices and screen sizes. Websites should perform exceptionally regardless of how they are being viewed. Our solution is known as ‘responsive accessible website design’ – this optimises your site’s content to any screen size on any device.

So an accessible website is one that is open to everyone, regardless of whether or not they are disabled and using adaptive technologies to access the net.

Why would you want it?

  • First – economics – open up your website to a huge market – taking into consideration registered disabilities, sight problems and old age, in excess of 40% of the UK’s population would benefit from accessible websites. The spending power of disabled people and their families in the UK in 2017 exceeded £249 billion so it makes economical sense to tap into this market.
  • Competition – In 2021, mobile devices account for 66% of all visits to websites. Therefore the content of websites needs to be easily accessible from mobile devices to ensure your site is reaching its maximum potential and keeping viewers interested and loyal to you, rather than your competitors.
  • Compliance – your website must be compliant with website standards – we don’t want to scare you but just consider that AOL got sued for an undisclosed amount (but reportedly in the $ millions) by the NFB (National Federation of the Blind) as their website wasn’t compatible with screen readers; therefore it was inaccessible to the blind.

Guidelines to follow

Accessibility guidelines are set out by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the specific guidelines for the accessibility of your website and content are called WCAG. Just to confuse you, W3C and WCAG guidelines sometimes contradict each other so it’s important that you seek professional advice from your website designer.

Going even further

We like to go the extra mile and so have created a badge which we display on sites we build if they stand up to our excedingly high standards for accessibility. Look out for it on our sites!

  • Accessibility Badge Standard
  • Accessibility Standards Accessibility Badge

Checks you can do today

Consult your website designer to ensure your website:

  • Is compliant with accessibility guidelines and to make sure you are reaching as many customers as is possible.
  • Includes 'alt tags' on all images - this is a basic description of the picture. Visually impaired internet users often use screen reading technology to understand the images on the page.
  • Has easy navigation using sitemaps and good use of parent and child pages.
  • Uses a high contrasting colour palette with no clashing colours.

For more information on the different formats your site should be available in, please contact us at Access by Design.

A brand new website dedicated to website accessibility

For more information on website accessibility, or if you would like to find out about an audit of your own website for accessibility, please follow this link to our brand new website, Access by Audit. You will find a host of information about both website accessibility and website accessibility audits.

Access by Design. Accessible Websites - Beautifully Designed.