Website Accessibility Audit
At Access by Design, we have been designing and building accessible websites since 2006. We have understood the need for having an accessible website from the outset. In recent years, Google began taking website Accessibility seriously and has used it as a strong factor when determining where a website should be ranked in its listings.
Since 2018, following the issuing of UK Government guidance on Website Accessibility compliance, there has been the need for websites within the public sector to have an audit of the level of accessibility of their current website. This would also involve the creation of an accompanying Accessibility Statement, outlining any accessibility issues with the site and a statement of aims and objectives with regard to resolving these issues.
Unfortunately, the guidance, although well-intentioned, is unclear and incomplete. It is possible to follow the guidelines and still have a website that is inaccessible to disabled people. We are pleased that the Government is trying to instil good practice across the public sector but their guidance does not go far enough.
However, it is not just about the public sector!
If your company or organisation is not within the public sector, you could be forgiven for thinking that website accessibility guidelines do not apply to your own website. There is an important piece of legislation called the Equality Act (as well as the Disability Discrimination Act which preceded it) that every website has to comply with. It extends well beyond the narrow government guidelines mentioned previously and works on the following simple principle: if a disabled person cannot use your website, you are discriminating against them and are open to litigation.
So what can you do?
Regardless of the accessibility issues, there may be with your website, there is something you can do about it that does not mean that you have to immediately pay for a new accessible website to replace your existing one. It is simple: you have an accessibility audit of your website and have an accessibility statement written for you. This statement highlights the issues that disabled people may have with using your website and offers them an alternative way of getting the information. It protects you from litigation and actually can be a great opportunity to reach out to your disabled visitors and make them feel welcome.
Our Website Accessibility Consultancy Service
We have always worked with other agencies over the years, advising them on how to improve the accessibility of their website and spreading good practice. It is always our aim to work alongside everyone involved in the website development and support them in achieving whatever improvements are practically possible, as well as developing alternative strategies, so that every visitor to their website feels included.
We have a new website dedicated solely to Website Accessibility Audits
The subject of website accessibility audits and website accessibility statements is so significant and so large that we have realised that it requires a completely separate website. To that end, we launched Access by Audit in 2021, a website that is focused purely on website accessibility audits, explaining them in much greater detail. We would invite to you follow this link to the new website.
The full URL is: https://websiteaccessibilityaudit.co.uk/
We actually use disabled people as part of our audits!
We work with disabled people when we audit a website. It may sound astonishing to hear but it would appear that the plethora of "accessibility consultants" found on the internet believe that they can perform a comprehensive audit of a website without involving disabled people in the process! Time and time again, we are contacted by organisations for an audit and one of their main reasons for choosing us is because we work with disabled people
Without getting too technical, there are tools available that will go some way to quickly assess whether a website is accessible or not. These tools are merely a starting point if you are going to assess a website correctly. These tools may pick up 20% of any accessibility issues but the remaining 80% can only be picked up by manually checking by someone with a high level of expertise.
Even with our many years of experience in designing and building accessible websites, we are always striving to learn new techniques and that only comes from working with disabled people and finding out how they actually use websites and the difficulties they find.
Why not book yourself in for a free initial chat?
If you would like to talk to us about this further, please call us on 01243 776399 or book yourself in for a free 15-minute initial consultation by following this link:
Access by Design. Accessible Websites, Beautifully Designed.
Outstanding Website Accessibility Audits.
Award-winning web design, Chichester.
Changing the World, One Website at a Time.