About Web Designer and Accessible Website Design Specialist Jim Byrne

A passion for equality and accessibility

Decades before he became an accessible website design specialist, Jim started his working life as a computer programmer in 1979 using ‘miniframe’ computers that had LP (a long player record) sized ‘not very floppy disks’. The disks needed to be screwed into a large cabinet that looks like a top-loading washing machine.

He is one of the few people who has been around long enough to have done every task related to web design: installed, configured and managed operating systems (Linux, Apple and Windows), installed a web server and all the required software, (e.g. Apache, Perl, PHP), wrote the required ‘cgi’ scripts, designed the web pages, hand-coded the HTML and designed and coded one of the world’s first content management systems, called QnECMS (Quick And easy Content Management System).

Meeting Tim Berners Lee – the Inventor of the Web

In 1990 as a ‘mature’ student at Glasgow Caledonian University, he was shown Tim Berners Lee’s first website by lecturers David Donald and John Culbert; it didn’t look like much (just text with links) but it did look like the future. He also embarrassed himself by being tongue-tied when he met Tim Berners Lee at a conference in London after shouting him over with the words, ‘Hey Tim!’.

Helping disabled people get back into work

Jim is also an experienced trainer and a former Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University. In the mid 90’s he worked as a Trainer with The Wellbeing Initiative; an organisation set up to help disabled people get back into work. While working with The Wellbeing Initiative Jim became acutely aware of the extent to which disabled people were being discriminated against. This had an impact on the work he has done since. It directly lead to the setting up of one of the UK’s first website accessibility consultants and the setting up of The Guild of Accessible Website Designers.

About Jim Byrne: A Web Developer With an Artistic Sensibility

Apart from technical skills, he has an artistic sensibility. In his spare time, he is a musician, songwriter and performer. He attended Glasgow School of Art as a teenager, so he brings creativity and a sense of aesthetics to every project.

An accessibility specialist specialising in serving the not-for-profit sector

  • Founder of The Making Connections Unit in 1996: one of the UK’s first web accessibility consultancies.
  • An award-winning web designer. Best Web Design Agency, Scottish Lowlands, Corporate Vision MarTech Awards 2022. Winner of ‘Best Charitable Website Design Specialist 2019’. Winner of the Global Bangemann Award in 1999 and the Breakthrough Award for The Lothian Centre For Independent Living online help service.
  • An experienced web applications developer. In addition to many website designs, development projects completed have included a virtual learning environment (VLE’s) for Scottish Accessible Information Forum and an online Portfolio system for The Get Connected Project. Jim has developed online searchable directories for Evenbreak and The British Disabled Angling Association, online membership services and e-commerce systems for numerous organisations.
  • Author of 6 website development books and numerous online and offline training courses.
  • A member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP).
  • A founding member of the Guild of Accessible Web Designers (GAWDS): a world-wide association of organisations and accessible web designers and developers set up in 2003.
  • Founder of ‘Accessible Website Design’ in 2003 to exclusively provide accessible website design and development to the Third Sector.

Publications And Awards

You can find out about Jim Byrne’s publicatons and the awards he has won for his work in the area of accessibility on the About – Accessible Website Design & WCAG 2 Accessibility Auditing page.

Contact Jim Byrne now


07810 098 119

Get in touch for a chat about your accessibility needs

If you have been thinking about a new accessible website or getting your website checked to ensure it is accessible and compliant with equality legislation, get in touch. Jim Byrne has been working with non-profits, charities, voluntary and public sector organisations and social enterprises for over 20 years. He fully understands the needs of this sector.

Get in touch today to take advantage of unrivalled experience and skills relating to accessible website design and WCAG 2 auditing. A website designer based in Glasgow but with clients all over the UK.

See list of clients and what they said about working with Jim Byrne Accessible Design.