What an Accessibility Audit REALLY is!
If you are in Local Government, the Fire Service, the Heritage and Conservation sectors or, in fact any sector that is non-profit and is seen as for the public good, you should read this.
UK Government Accessibility Guidelines
In 2018, the UK Government published regulations regarding Public Sector Bodies and the accessibility of their websites for people with disabilities. In 2019, The National Association of Local Councils issued further guidance and gave Parish Councils a deadline of September 23rd to both have an Accessibility Statement and an action plan in place and underway, to make their websites more accessible.
We have had conversations with Parish Councils in different parts of the the UK regarding this, as they have understandably become anxious about meeting this deadline. They understand that they need to have an audit of their website, to understand where it fails to meet the accessibility standards as laid down by the Government guidelines and how to fix them.
We have also talked to both a Heritage Charity and a Conservation Society about this same issue. They have both contacted companies to get quotes for an Accessibility Audit of their website. It would appear that many such organisations are wanting to address this issue now, which of course I am very pleased about, as website accessibility is something we are passionate about!
This is when they discover, to their horror, that such an Audit will cost in the region of £2,500. This is, to put it bluntly, to list all the accessibility errors in their current website and what must be done to fix them. They might pay a further sum of around £1,000 to check that the work has been carried out correctly.
Please re-read that last sentence. £2,500 just to be told what is wrong with your website, where it does not cater for people with disabilities and an apologetic statement about how you are looking to put things right, which you can then hang on their website as a badge of shame??? £2,500 is a lot of money to spend, especially when you consider that the website itself will not have changed in any way! The cost of fixing the errors, remember, is not included in this price.
What could it cost to put it right?
Let’s say it then takes 5 days to fix the accessibility issues, at a typical developer cost of £500 per day. So, in total, you have spent £5000 on making your website accessible for people with disabilities whilst it is still essentially the same website in terms of its look and its styling. Many websites I review are over 5 years old and it seems that this is a lot of money to spend of making your outdated site accessible whilst it is still remains outdated!
Isn't there an alternative?
There is, however, an easier and less costly way and that is where we come in.
We have been building bespoke, accessible websites for 14 years. Each one is at the highest level of accessibility and goes through 82 different checks before it is launched. This, by the way, is higher than the Government Guidelines mentioned at the top of this article! The Guidelines use phrases like “aspire to” and “aim for” whereas we just do it, each time!
Our bespoke websites, however, can take several months to complete and do come at a price which can be out of the reach of many Parish Councils and similar organisations. However, you will be pleased to hear that, 4 years ago, we developed one of our bespoke, accessible websites into what has become our best-selling product! We call it Run Your Own Website and it far exceeds the requirements of the Government Guidelines, as it has already met all our 82 stringent checks! It is also priced very effectively, with a typical cost for the type of websites being discussed here being in the region of £2,500. This is around half of the cost of the solutions outlined above!
This is why we code our websites ourselves, to ensure that we can consistently meet our own high standards, every time!
Please can you tell me more! It sounds such a no-brainer!
If you would like to find out more about this and whether this could work for your organisation, why not give us a call on 01243 776399 or book yourself in for a Zoom meeting by following the link below: