Web accessibility in the UK isn’t just a legal obligation, it’s a really important part of creating inclusive digital experiences. Companies, both in the public and private sector, have a responsibility to make sure that their websites and digital content are accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. In this artcicle we’ll look at best practice and advising on how to make web accessibility a priority for your company.
Table of Contents
Understanding the importance of website accessibility
Web accessibility ensures that websites and digital content are designed and developed in ways that best accommodate diverse groups of users, including those with disabilities. Making content perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust for website users of all abilities.
Why should you consider web accessibility?
Making sure that you comply with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations, 2018, is a must for public sector organisations in the UK. Private sector businesses don’t sit under the same regulations, however, they still must ensure that they provide information and functional ways of using their website to all users, including those with disabilities.
Good user experience
Making sure that you have thought of and implemeted plans around accessible UX will result in everyone having easy access your digital services and products. This makes for a positive user experience and potentially could expand your customer base.
Showing your commitment to web accessibility could enhance your brand’s reputation as being responsible and inclusive. It can also attract customers, partnerships, and employees who note and value what you have done for accessibility users.
Best practices for making web accessibility a priority
Leadership at all levels should understand and be committed to web accessibility. Introduce policies and make sure resource is available to support accessibility initiatives.
Train your teams in web accessibility best practice, from developers to content creators and designers. Web accessibility training will create knowledgeable staff is a crucial aspect for implementing and maintaining accessibility.
Conduct regular accessibility audits of your website and other digital assets (we would recommend having an external audit completed once a yer, and quarter internal checkups), making sure that issues are identified and addressed promptly.
Involve people with real disabilities in user testing to get insights into their experiences and identify any other accessibility barriers.
Accessibility policies and guidelines
Develop and implement clear accessibility policies and guidelines that meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0/2.1 (WCAG) standards.
Ensure that all digital content, including images, videos, and PDFs and other documents are accessible. Provide alt text for images, captions for videos, and transcripts for multimedia content, etc.
Publish and regularly update accessibility statement on your website that state your commitment to accessibility, current accessibility compliance status, and plans for addressing any accessibility barriers.
Engage in other accessibility forums
Collaborate with accessibility organisations (such as us!), disability and inclusion advocacy groups, and other experts to stay updated on best practices and industry standards.
More than just accessibility compliance
Of course, web accessibility isn’t just about meeting legal requirements – it’s about creating a brilliant digital experience for everyone who uses your website or experiences your digital assets. Companies that give great thought to accessibility are showing their commitment to equality and inclusion, which may lead to better customer satisfaction and enhanced reputation.