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Jim Byrne Accessible Website Design Glasgow for The Third Sector, Voluntary, Charities and Not for Profits

Accessible design for the Third Sector
Creating inclusive websites since 1996
Jim Byrne Web Designer

Free Guide: How To Keep Your Website Accessible

Non-profits need to ensure their websites are accessible. This jargon free guide will help.

Website Accessibility ‘WCAG A’ Audit Deal

I’m offering a technical website accessibility audit and report to Level A of WCAG 2.0 for only £950. The audit will be completed and a report delivered to you in five working days.

I have been working in the area of website accessibility since 1996, so you can be sure that no-one else will bring more experience or expertise to the auditing process. If you want to have a chat or if you have any questions feel free to give me a phone on 07810 098 119.

Here is a summary of what an audit of your website would involve.

  • I will check your site against the WCAG 2.0 guidelines (A). Take note, I always go beyond standard tick box checks. I will check if your website is accessible to the real people who visit your site. I also highlight any usability issues I notice as I check the site and will mention these in my report.
  • I will carry out manual checks highlighting any issues that are having an impact on the accessibility of the site.
  • I will use a range of tools to test your website, including a screen reader, text only browser, colour analyser, CSS and HTML validator. The screen readers I will test with include Apple’s built-in screen reader and the JAWS screenreader. These are the tools many disabled people use when browsing your site so it makes sense to use them as part of our auditing process.
  • Dynamic page elements will be checked for accessibility, including any Javascript or Flash.
  • I will also run the site through automated tools to check which issues are highlighted. These are the tools that accessibility campaigners will use if they test your site so we must also use them so we are aware of the issues they throw up.
  • All relevant accessibility issues will be highlighted in a report with suggested solutions. The report will start with the a summary of the most important issues, i.e. the issues that will have the biggest impact on the accessibility of your site. The report will be clear and easy to read, i.e. I will do my best to avoid using jargon and I will explain technical issues as clearly as I can. The report will also contain a summary table of WCAG 2 checkpoints showing whether the site passed or failed.
  • I will provide a summary table (i.e. of the WCAG 2 Priority A Checkpoints) and a more detailed report when the findings merit it. There will be a detailed discussion of any failed checkpoints with example code and screen shots.

Email and telephone support will be provided after the report has been delivered. I will answer any questions you may have and guide you towards the actions needed to fix the identified issues.

The cost of the accessibility audit includes a retest after the issues identified have been fixed.

What will be checked:

After discussion with yourself we will choose representative pages and sections and functionality of the website. For example, if you have several different layouts or pages with particular functionality those will be included in the sample.

Here is some feedback I received from different organisations I have worked with.

“I have vast confidence in Jim’s abilities, and am frankly quite amazed that he met all of our very demanding requirements so quickly and so professionally! Many developers claim to have knowledge in these areas, but in my experience, very few if any have the practical knowledge and pragmatic approach that Jim has. I would advise any organisation looking for a high quality accessible website to talk to Jim. You won’t be disappointed (he’s also incredibly easy to work with).” Jane Hatton, Founder/Director, Evenbreak.

“As an advisory service on technology and disability it was critical for us that our Publisher Lookup website scored well on accessibility. I was delighted recently when a blind colleague was surfing round the site and spontaneously exclaimed ‘This is a really accessible website’. I told her we like to use people who know their stuff!” Alistair McNaught, Senior advisor, Jisc TechDis

“Jim has worked with the Scottish Accessible Information Forum, (SAIF) for over 10 years and we regard him as our resident expert on accessibility and the web. Last year, Jim redesigned our website to give it a fresh new look while keeping accessibility as a priority. He is always willing to help out with any questions we have and gets back to us promptly with a solution. We would have no hesitation recommending him to other organisations, and we frequently do whenever we get the chance!” Susan Burn, Project Development Officer, SAIF.

“Jim conducted an accessibility audit of the Health Rights Information Scotland (HRIS) website. The report was extremely detailed. It explained what the WCAG guidelines mean, how compliance was assessed, what problems were identified and how these could be fixed. We are confident that implementing Jim’s recommendations will greatly improve the accessibility of our site. The report was, as far as possible, free from technical jargon, and Jim was always more than happy to have a chat about things we did not understand. This evaluation has been extremely useful.” Health Rights Information Scotland Website

Phone me on 07810 098 119 if you would like to chat about any of the above or get in touch via the website accessibility audit contact form.

Jim Byrne

The ‘cast iron’ business case for accessible website design

Just a quick follow up from my New Year Newsletter in which I gently encouraged you to think about your website and online marketing strategy. One area I mentioned in my newsletter was website accessibility. As I am sure you already know, it is considered a form of discrimination if disabled people are not able to access website content (the Equalities Act 2010). So with that in mind I thought I’d take the opportunity to look at the benefits of accessible website design from a slightly different perspective, i.e. the business case.

The business case for accessible website design

In September last year I spoke at the Accessibility Scotland conference and an audience member asked whether there was a ‘cast iron’ business case for making a website accessible? They were having trouble trying to get their managers to prioritise accessibility or put any resources into ensuring the website was accessible to disabled people. 

‘Off the top of my head’ I could not remember any statistics to quote, though I did mention the usual stuff about a more accessible site generating more traffic, being easier to use and having reduced maintenance costs.

However, it seems that these logical arguments do not ‘cut any ice’ when it comes to making the case; what people want are facts, figures and case studies showing increased traffic and increased sales.

So with that in mind here are three major case studies showing the benefits of accessible website design in real terms. 

  • CNET: there was a 30% increase in traffic from Google after CNET started providing transcripts (reported AST(.ppt) “We saw a significant increase in SEO referrals when we launched an HTML version of our site, the major component of which was our transcripts.” – Justin Eckhouse, CNET, 2009.
  • Legal & General Group: visitor numbers doubled, maintenance costs were cut by two thirds, natural search traffic increased by 50%. .
  • Tesco:  ‘the site now attracts a much wider audience, spending £13 million a year, which is a fraction of the original cost of £35,000 to develop the accessible site’ (John Browett, Tesco Chief Executive). Read the Tesco case study. (2004, UK).

These case studies clearly show that an accessible website design reduces maintenance costs, increases usability and increases traffic. In short, accessible website design is good for your business.

Web Accessibility Auditing Service :

Even if you are not planning a brand new website from scratch I can help you realise some of the benefits outlined above by making your existing website more accessible. The first step in that process is to have your website audited to see if there are any aspects that are inaccessible to disabled peoples. You will then be in a position to have those issues addressed; thus increasing the accessibility and usability of your website.

As an website accessibility auditor since 1996 I am one of the most experienced and skilled practitioners in the UK. I will check your site against the WCAG 2.0 guidelines to ensure that your site is compliant with the BS8878 Web Accessibility Code of Practice.

An audit by myself goes way beyond tick box checks; I will check that your site is accessible and usable to the real people who visit your site.

Contact me today to take advantage of this unique expertise to utilise my expertise to attract more visitors to your website and make it easier to use by everyone. No matter what your budget or how big or small your website is I will be able to provide an audit that fits with your needs.

The WCAG 2 principles translated to simple ‘Jim speak’

You can now download WCAG 2 Defining The Principles as an MS Word document. This is the one where I translate the rather confusing language of the WCAG 2 website accessibility principles into ‘Jim speak’ i.e. easy to understand language.

This is the shortest possible summary of the WCAG 2 guidelines; it just outlines the basic principles and makes it clear what they mean.

Contact us today. We are hugely experienced award winning web designers and developers. Please read what our clients are saying about how we helped them meet their aims.

Or phone to talk over your ideas: 0141 576 9446.

Tags:

Evaluation tools and resources for developing accessible websites

Below are some of the tools we use when evaluation websites.

Evaluation tools and resources

Firefox add-ons:

Contact us today. We are hugely experienced award winning web designers and developers. Please read what our clients are saying about how we helped them meet their aims.

Or phone to talk over your ideas: 0141 576 9446.

What is the British Standard (BS) 8878 Web Accessibility Code?

BS 8878 Web accessibility guideBritish Standard 8878 (BS 8878) is the Web Accessibility Code of Practice developed by the British Standards Institution, launched on December 2010.

The standard outlines procedures to help ensure that websites (and other web based services) are accessible to disabled people. In short, it provides guidance on good practice; how to develop your strategy and what practical steps to take to implement that strategy.

One assumption it makes is that accessible website design is a good thing and that it is something every organisation should be working on.

When building your new website:

  • You should put someone in charge of ensuring accessibility and clearly outline their remit
  • Make website accessibility part of your organisational policy; BS 8878 provides policy templates.
  • Document your thoughts and decisions throughout the process of building your website.
  • Make reference to the guidelines and standards you are aiming to adhere to.
  • Set out how you will ensure the website stays accessible once it is up and running.

What makes it different from WCAG 1 and WCAG 2.0

BS 8878 aims to be more ‘holistic’ than other guidelines such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) which focus much more on technical issues.

Given this wider approach, it covers:

  • The law and accessibility.
  • Inclusive design.
  • Accessibility on devices that are not computers.
  • Accessibility for older people.
  • How to make accessibility a part of your tendering process.

Do you need to adhere to this standard?

There are positive and negative factors that would influence you in considering whether you should adhere to BS 887.

  • If you don’t make your website accessible you risk falling foul of the law: e.g. the Equality Act 2010.
  • Making your site accessible increases the audience you will have for your goods and serves; research suggests that you will increase your audience by up to 17% if you make your site accessible. (Nomensa report)

The Importance of The BS 8878 Web Accessibility Code of Practice

In my opinion The BS 8878 is an extremely useful and important document as it recognises that website accessibility is a more complex subject than just applying the right techniques to a web page (i.e adding text labels to images).

It is also about how organisations operate in relation to equality (e.g. policy development), how organisations tender for website developers, how accessibility is tested and who tests it (e.g. disabled people) among other things.

Contact us today. We are hugely experienced award winning web designers and developers. Please read what our clients are saying about how we helped them meet their aims.

Or phone to talk over your ideas: 0141 576 9446.

Richard Morton – website accessibility auditor

We are currently offerring a free website accessibility check

Contact us now to find out if your site is accessible to disabled people (a huge market you may be missing out on). Find out if your site passes the W3C WCAG guidelines and the British Standard 8878 (BS 8878). BS8878 is the Web Accessibility Code of Practice developed by the British Standards Institution. Get in touch now; ensure you don’t fall foul of the Equalities Act..

Richard Morton Accessibility Specialist“A large proportion of my work over the last six years has been web accessibility auditing, using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

I do manual testing, using the standard browsers, and light tools like the AIS Accessibility toolbar, and my use of assistive technology includes the built in Windows and browser accessibility features, and JAWS  screenreader. I have also provided consultancy and training services to complement the auditing. “

Personal profile

  • Specialist in web accessibility auditing and testing
  • Thirty years technical and management experience in information technology
  • Advocate for raising awareness of web accessibility through Twitter and LinkedIn.

Website Accessibility

  • Manual web accessibility testing against clients own internal standards, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 and 2.0 and section 508
  • Assistive technology testing using JAWS, NVDA and iPAD Voiceover screenreader software.
  • More than one hundred and twenty web accessibility audit projects for clients across sectors including: large corporate organisations, small/medium enterprises, e-commerce, education and e-learning, financial and legal, central government and broadcasting; transport, ranging from one to one hundred pages per project.

Website Maintenance

  • Ongoing maintenance for web design and build clients.
  • Management of hosting services for clients
  • HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and MySQL databases

Professional Qualifications

  • Member of the Guild of Accessible Web Designers since 2007
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) since 1999 (NT4.0)
  • Internal Quality Auditor – ISO9000:2000

Contact us today if you are,

  • Concerned with website accessibility compliance.
  • Interested in practical suggestions to improve the accessibility of your site.
  • Interested in training to help keep your website accessible.
  • Interested in getting more visitors to your site.

Web Accessibility Practitioners Survey Shows Inequality Between Practitioners

Here are a couple of things that jumped out at me when I read through the survey published by WebAIM:

There are more women and disabled people working in the area of web accessibility than in the wider web design field.

“The prevalence of women in the web accessibility field is over double that reported in the broader web design/development field.”

Both women and disabled people are earning less than their male non-disabled colleagues. So, discrimination exists even in a profession which is all about promoting equality?

“Female respondents earn an average of at least $8,200 less than their male counterparts. “

“A significant disparity also exists for those with disabilities – they earn an average of at least $12,400 less than those without disabilities despite having very similar education level and years of experience.”

Read the full report here: Survey of Web Accessibility Practitioners

British Standard 8878 Web Accessibility Code of Practice: a short summary

Web Accessibility Code of PracticeBritish Standard 8878 (BS 8878) is the Web Accessibility Code of Practice developed by the British Standards Institution, launched on December 2010.

Unlike much of the guidance previously published, the standard aims to introduce website accessibility to non-technical professionals, including:

  • Policy makers (e.g. Chief Executive Officers, Managing Directors, Headteachers, IT Managers);
  • Those responsible for promoting equality initiatives (e.g. Human Resource Managers);
  • Those responsible for procurement of services.
  • The producers of website/online products and services (e.g. website and online services owners, project managers, web developers, designers);
  • Content creators (e.g. website editors, marketing managers, content authors);
  • Those involved in testing and validation.
  • Those who create and deliver related training courses.

It’s about processes not just techniques

The document outlines procedures you can put in place to help ensure that web based services are accessible to disabled and older people. It provides guidance on good practice; on how to develop your strategy and practical steps to implement that strategy.

Importantly, it contains examples that can help in relation to your own in-house policies, procedures and practices. For example, a suggested policy document, content for your website accessibility statement, procedures for your accessibility test plans and help with selecting accessible software.

What make it different from WCAG 1 and WCAG 2?

BS 8878 takes a more ‘holistic’ approach than other guidelines, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which focus much more on technical issues.

It covers:

  • The law and accessibility.
  • Inclusive design.
  • Accessibility on devices that are not computers.
  • Accessibility for older people.
  • Developing accessibility policy.
  • Accessibility and the tendering process.

Do you need to adhere to this standard?

I can think of a few reasons why you should:

  • The fair treatment of disabled people is a legal requirement. If you don’t make your website accessible you risk falling foul of the law.
  • The Human Rights Commission specifically states that the Equalities Act 2010 applies to websites.
  • The government’s e-Accessibility Action Plan mentions BS 8878 as the basis for developing accessible online services.
  • Research suggests that you will increase your audience by up to 17% if you make your site accessible. Nomensa humanising technology report, January 2011.

The BS 8878 approach to website accessibility

The BS 8878 is an important as it recognises that website accessibility is a more complex subject than just applying the right techniques to a web page (i.e. adding text labels).

In the past It has been easy to ignore website accessibility on the basis that it’s too hard to understand and/or that it’s a responsibility that can be off-loaded to the web developer (‘that’s what we are paying them for..’).

This new British Standard invalidates that argument and firmly roots the responsibility within the organisation. And that includes Third Sector Organisations, notwithstanding their size or budget.

A web developer might also carry responsibility, though again it is a less likely target than its client…. There is also a duty on the client not to instruct anyone to do anything which contravenes the Equality Act. BS 8878 C.6.1

BS 887 Compliance

Compliance with BS 8878 is not a simple check box exercise; to fully comply requires considerable resources, time, commitment and expertise. If the document has a weakness it is that the amount of work and expense required could frighten people off. Not every organisation can afford a comprehensive website testing programme, nor the resources to involve disabled people throughout the web development process.

However as was the case with the Disability Discrimination Act organisations are required to make, ‘reasonable adjustments’ , i.e. do what is considered reasonable given the constraints of resources and time.

The duty in the Equality Act and the DDA to make reasonable adjustments does not require steps that would fundamentally alter the nature of the service or that would cause the operator to incur excessive expenditure.

Third Sector Organisations large or small are not exempt from ensuring their online content is accessible to disabled and older people. And whilst BS 8878 may appear somewhat daunting, it is real step forward from the exclusively technical approach that seemed to be the default in the past.

This article as written by accessible website design specialist Jim Byrne. Contact us today if you are interested in a workshop, seminar or training related to the British Standard 8878 (BS 8878) the Web Accessibility Code of Practice

Contact us today. We are hugely experienced award winning web designers and developers. Please read what our clients are saying about how we helped them meet their aims.

Or phone to talk over your ideas: 0141 576 9446.

Test the accessibility of your web page with your own web browser

It seems to be a little known fact – but it is worth remembering – that almost all Web browsers allow you to change the text size, font, colour and background colour of the web pages you visit.

Try experimenting with the setting in your own browser; check how your pages look with much larger or smaller text, or a different text/background combination. And even more importantly, check if the page design allows these attributes to be altered at all.

If they can’t be altered (perhaps because you have spent time trying to force the page to look the same on everybody’s screen), then this should alert you to the fact that your pages may not be as accessible as you thought.

An important aspect of accessible web design is giving users the ability to change the presentation of the page to suit their own needs – if they can’t do that then this should alert you to accessibility issues with your site.

Website and document accessibility auditing

If you require a more comprehensive and authoritative audit of your website or your documents (for example, checking the accessibility of your PDF’s) then please get in touch as that is exactly what we do. We’ve been very very good at it since 2005.

Contact us today to discuss your project

Or phone to talk over your ideas: 0141 576 9446.

Other posts in this category

Give me a phone if you would like me to test the accessibility of your website:

I provided feedback on the WCAG 2 (as representative of Guild of Accessible Website Designers) have two decades of experience and worked with hundreds of organisations.

07810 098 119