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What is a website accessibility statement?  

Posted on 10 February 2022 A cafe inside an old hotel. There is a curving staircase in the foreground.

Why did I write this post?

I ran a poll last week in which I asked some questions about website accessibility statements. My poll is now closed and I am very grateful to everyone who took part.

53% of those who responded did not know what a website accessibility statement one was, so that is subject of my post today!

A website accessibility statement is produced after you have had an accessibility audit of your website.  

The audit will highlight the issues that may make it harder for disabled people to use the website, the website accessibility statement will then explain this to anyone visiting the website.

A photo that explains the concept

I think I can demonstrate explain it more clearly by using this photograph.

It is a restaurant in a hotel. It has seating laid out downstairs and there is also seating upstairs. However, there is no lift. It is in an old building, and it is not possible to have a lift installed in this area. This means that someone in a wheelchair would not be able to use the seating upstairs.

That is, in effect, an accessibility audit of the restaurant: customers in wheelchairs cannot use the upstairs seating.

However, let us imagine there is a sign near the entrance. It says the following:

“We want to welcome everyone to our restaurant. However, if you use a wheelchair, please be aware that you will not be able to use the seating upstairs, as we do not have a lift. However, we do have an area of seating reserved for you, with extra turning space. The height of the table has also been raised to make it easier for you to get your wheelchair underneath.”

That is their Accessibility Statement. It highlights the problem but it also provides an alternative that actually demonstrates that the restaurant have recognised the issue (no lift) and have provided an accessible alternative instead (a raised table with extra space around it).

The effect of a bit of thought and care!

What impact is that going to have on people using wheelchairs? I would suggest that it will make them feel included and welcomed and lead to a far better experience overall! This increases the reputation of the restaurant, even though there is no lift!

You do not need to understand the technicalities of an audit and statement, as long as you understand what it should be trying to do!

If you would like to find out more, please follow this link to check out my TedX talk, on March 2nd. I am due to speak just after 3.30pm.

https://www.tedxlukelybrook.com/

If you would like a free initial assessment of your website’s accessibility for disabled people, please follow this link:

https://calendly.com/cliveloseby/accessibility-audit-free-initial-consultation

Clive Loseby

Access by Design

Beautiful, Accessible, Web Design, Chichester

 

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