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Improving access to websites

Disabled people may have a range of different problems accessing web material. They may:

  •  have difficulty reading or comprehending text
  •  not have or be able to use a keyboard or mouse
  •  have a text-only screen, a small screen, or a slow internet connection 
  •  not speak or understand fluently the language in which the document is written 
  •  be in a situation where their eyes, ears, or hands are busy
  •  have an early version of a browser; a different browser entirely; a voice browser or a different operating system.

You can help make your website accessible by following web content accessibility standards and guidelines. Here are some links that might help you.

W3C guidelines        www.w3.org
These are guidelines produced by the Web Access Initiative (WAI), an international scheme to promote accessible website development. There are three levels of compliance available and sites that pass each level can advertise this fact on their sites.
You can also access their information on evaluating the access of websites at www.w3.org/WAI/eval/

Disability Rights Commission (www.drc-gb.org/newsroom/demo.asp
An inaccessible website demo – see what happens when you try and use access tools on an inaccessible site

RNIB (www.rnib.org.uk/digital/hints.htm)
The RNIB have a campaign called See it Right. Here you can access their Accessible Website audit and checklist

Support with commissioning websites
The Disability Rights Commission produced this great guidance in 2006, to get hold of it now, you have to look on the archived site, since all the commissions have merged into the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. You can get straight to it here: http://83.137.212.42/sitearchive/DRC/library/website_accessibility_guidance.html