If you look around on the internet, you will find that over the last 18 months the majority of household brand names and blue chip companies have drastically changed how their sites work, look and feel. Accessibility has been one of the main driving factors behind this. No longer is it acceptable for a large organisation to brush accessibility under the carpet.
Website usage has grown massively over the last decade. As the internet grows at a rapid rate and more and more people use the internet, the need to make websites more accessible has become essential. If your website does not allow disabled people access to your site, you may be losing potential customers and possibly be breaking the law. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was updated to ensure fair and equal access for disabled people to on-line resources.The facts and figures relating to the number of users who may face difficulties using your intranet/extranet are quite startling:
- There are 8.6 million registered disabled people in the UK - 14% of the population
- One in 12 men and one in 200 women have some form of colour blindness - 9% of the population
- Two million people in the UK have a sight problem - 4% of the population
These statistics make clear the scale of the potential disabilities that could have an impact on users from being able to access and use your website effectively.
How do you know if your website is accessible?
There are a number of factors which can contribute to a website being inaccessible. A tool, such as http://webxact2.watchfire.com, will tell you if there are technical issues with the set-up of your website. Technical issues are not the only problems which can make a site inaccessible. It is important also to consider the 'human' aspects of your site and have an experienced web developer ensure your website can be used by as many people as possible.
SoQuo can audit your website against any of the WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) Guidelines. Our audit is primarily intended to confirm that a site is accessible, or to justify that a site will need work to make it more accessible, as well as detailing the work necessary to make the site compliant.
For further information on the Website Accessibility Initiative visit the website at http://www.w3.org/WAI/. The WAI have said that "at least 10% of the population in most countries has disabilities". If it is not accessible, your website may not be seen by less capable web users. To make your website as 'usable' as possible means that you can maximise your website reach.
Website design by SoQuo enables you to provide on-line information resources in full compliance with the DDA. A compliant website ensures that users with a disability can automatically access your site in a productive format with the best possible solution to the problem.
SoQuo has been developing websites which comply with Website Accessibility initiative guidelines. We have the skills and experience to make your website widely accessible.
If you would like to discuss the accessibility of your website, please contact SoQuo today for an informal discussion.