**** News – PAS 78 is now BS 8878. Here’s some quick ways to test how accessible your website is for people with ‘disabilities’.
We’re currently re-evaluating all the sites with our name on it including this one – perhaps you might want to test your site?
Valid HTML and Valid CSS is the first step to ensuring an accessible website.
- Validate Your HTML to W3C recommendations – Hobo Web
- Validate Your CSS to W3C levels – Hobo Web
- ATRC – Find out if your page is WCAG 2.0 Level2 ‘compliant’ – this is the grade (or level of compliance) that the UK Government now recommend – Hobo Web
- WAVE – Test your website compatibility issues with WCAG 1.0 and section 508 – Hobo Web
- TAW – Checks website pages for conflicts with WCAG 1.0.
- CynthiaSays – I use this and it’s my favourite, but to be honest, I think the reports, though extremely detailed are difficult for the novice web designer
- HERA – Highlights WCAG 1.0 compatibility issues
- CSS Analyser – Color contrast test to make sure your sites CSS color scheme meets WCAG 1.0 requirements
- Readability Check – Analyzes the language on your website to Flesch Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid!
- Check how your site looks on multiple browsers at Browsershots.org
If you want to procure, or design and build sites with accessibility in mind in the UK, you’ll find the following documents useful:
Of course, the best way to get the accessibility of your site evaluated is by getting a focus group organised to test the accessibility and usability of your site, but the reality is not many go to these lengths. Note too, Automatic tests like the ones listed have many limitations.
NB – No web design company can build you a website that complies with the UK DDA, so ignore the snakeoil sellers. You do have a responsibility to make your website accessible under the DDA, though. Hey, it’s complicated and often confusing so make sure you think about accessibility at the start of your web design project.
“You now have a legal obligation – following the implementation of section 21 of the Disability Discrimination Act – to make reasonable adjustments to ensure blind and partially sighted people can access your service. RNIB, 2005“
Ask your website design company if they will ensure your site is built to good standards, and make any changes if you are approached about accessibility issues with your site, because that is when you can actually be sued under breach of the UK DDA, which might not be ideal publicity for your business.
We have a sort of idiots guide to accessible web design on the site if you want to learn more – if you have any comments about this site or have difficulty accessing any information please let us know and we will have a look see what we can do to improve things. Keep an eye out for the new BS 8878, too.
- Accessible Website Design
- What is the RNIB
- RNIB Campaign For Good Website Design
- Can I be Prosecuted Over An Inaccessible Website?
- Who Prosecutes Companies?
- Web Accessibility Legal Cases in the UK
- Designing Websites For Blind Users
- Web Accessibility Discrimination Prosecution cases in Australia
- When Must A Website Be Accessible By?
- Web Accessibility Minimum Requirements in the UK
- The Grey Area Of Website Design: Web Accessibility
- Accessible Website Design In The UK
- What Is The WAI?
- What is the W3c?
- What is WCAG?
- What is Section 508?
- First company prosecuted in the UK over inaccessibility
- Who is Jakob Nielsen?