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

Accessible, Responsive Website Design
Jim Byrne Web Designer

ISO 30071: 2019 Digital Accessibility Standard – What is it?

ISO 30071 is a standard and a set of guidelines for managing diversity in the workplace. It aims to help organisations create a more inclusive, and by implication, more productive environment, for employees from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In the UK, it replaces British Standard BS 8878.

The guidelines set out in ISO 30071 cover:

  • Language policy: How to develop a language policy that reflects the mix of languages within an organisation.
  • Recruitment and selection: This section is designed to ensure that recruitment and selection processes are inclusive, i.e., they do not discriminate against individuals based on their culture or their language.
  • Training and development: This section is about developing training and development programs tailored to the different needs of employees. For example, ensuring that cultural needs are being taken into account.
  • Communication and collaboration: How to promote effective communication and collaboration among employees from diverse cultural/linguistic backgrounds.
  • Performance management: This section is about ensuring processes related to the assessment of performance are fair and that they do not discriminate against employees based on their cultural and/or linguistic background.

What type of organisation does it apply to:

It applies to organisations of all sizes and types, regardless of their location or industry. It is particularly useful for those with a global workforce or those operating in multicultural environments.

ISO 30071 is a valuable resource for organizations that wish to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace.

By following the guidelines set out in the standard, organisations can create an environment where all employees feel valued and can contribute to the success of the organisation.

By following ISO 30071: 2019 guidelines, organisations can create an environment where all employees feel valued.

Website Accessibility and Your Legal Obligations in the UK

The accessibility of websites plays a crucial role in ensuring equal access to information and services for all individuals, including disabled people. It is not just about ‘doing the right thing’, it is a legal requirement.

Website Accessibility and the Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 is the legal foundation in the UK designed to ensure equal access to goods, services, and information. Websites are included within the legislation. Organisations must make reasonable adjustments to accommodate disabled people. Non-compliance can lead to severe penalties, reaching up to 4% of worldwide turnover.

Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018

The Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations (PSBAR) came into effect on September 23, 2018. It applies to public sector organisations. These regulations require public sector websites, including government agencies, educational institutions, and local authorities, to meet certain accessibility standards. Public sector websites should aim for at least Level AA conformance with WCAG guidelines and provide an accessibility statement to communicate their compliance level.

To ensure compliance with accessibility standards, organisations should conduct regular accessibility checks, engage in user testing with disabled people, and make necessary improvements to address any identified barriers. It is advisable to maintain an accessibility statement on the website, which outlines the organisation’s commitment to accessibility, known limitations, and contact information for reporting issues.

How to ensure compliance with your legal requirements

ISO 30071-1 international information technology standard

The ISO 30071-1 is international information technology standard was published in 2019. It contains good practice guidelines and advice that will be useful to all organisations seeking to make their content accessible. Part 1 is about embedding good accessibility practice into the values of a company – to ensure the ICT products and services they design are accessible.

The development of the ISO 30071-1 standard was lead by Johnathan Hassell who wrote the following:

“It provides a framework around standards like WCAG 2.0 and 2.1 to help integrate accessibility within organisations and into software development lifecycles.”

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1

To achieve accessibility standards, organisations can adhere to the internationally recognised Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). They provide a framework for web developers and designers to create websites accessible to all, including disabled people.

In conclusion: Website Accessibility and Your Legal Obligations in the UK

Website accessibility is not just a matter of social responsibility, it is a legal obligation. By adhering to the Equality Act 2010, and relevant legislation such as the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations organisations you can ensure equal access to your websites and services for disabled people. Taking accessibility seriously means you not only to avoid potential penalties but also make your content more accessible and enhance the user experience for all visitors to your websites.

Photo by DPP Law.

Accessibility statements – does your charity need to have one on your website?

If you are a public sector body or a charity that has received public or government funding then you are required to have an accessibility statement on your website. An accessibility statement is a legal document required under the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. The Public Sector Bodies accessibility regulations build on the existing obligations you have under the Equality Act 2010.

This article is a short, simplified summary and should not be regarded as the definitive set of requirements to check your organisation against. For full information refer to the Public Sector Accessibility Regulations.

A ‘public sector body’ is one of the following:

  • Regional or local authorities.
  • Bodies governed by public law or
  • Associations formed by one or more of the regional or local authorities or one or more of the bodies governed by public law – if those associations are established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest. These are not commercial or industrial organisations.
  • The State.

Characteristics of “bodies governed by public law” include:

  • Established for the purpose of meeting the needs of the general public, but not industrial or commercial in character.
  • Financed, for the most part, by the State, regional or local authorities, or by other bodies governed by public law.
  • Subject to management supervision by those authorities or bodies.
  • They have an administrative, managerial or supervisory board, more than half of whose members are appointed by the State, regional or local authorities, or by other bodies governed by public law.

    How can I help you?

    Call now to chat about your new website: 07810 098 119.

    How is the term ‘disabled people’ defined and why does it matter?

    As a website designer or an organisation commissioning a website you need to know how the term ‘disabled people’ is defined for the following reasons:

    It will have an impact on the approach you take to making your website accessible.
    As an organisation you will want to stay on the right side of the law when it comes to making your content and service accessible to ’disabled people’.
    Ok, how is the term defined in law?

    To paraphrase the UK equality legislation, the term, ’disabled people’ is defined not by the cognitive or physical impairment of the individual but by the physical (or virtual) environment they live in.

    For example, if a wheelchair user turns up for a job interview to find that they can’t get in the building because there are steps up to the front door, that’s a problem. The legislation states that it is not the individuals mobility problem that makes them disabled it’s actually the lack of a ramp.

    The design of the building and a lack of an alternative access route is preventing them from attending the interview. What needs changed here is not the person but the design of the building or the addition of an alternative way in.

    In other words the individual is not expected to suddenly regain the power of their legs – their lack of mobility is not the issue. However, in this the lack of access to the building has put the individual at a disadvantage and that is against the law.

    I understand how that works for buildings, what about websites?

    The issues are exactly the same on the web. You can’t say that your website is not designed to be accessible to people who are blind or have Dyslexia or people with a hearing impairment.

    If you said that you would be breaking the law; because you are implying that accessibility is due to a problem with the the person and not a problem with the website.

    So in summary. If you are a website designer, this definition of ‘disabled people’ tells you that it’s your job to create a design that is flexible enough to accommodate the needs of individuals with different impairments.

    If you are an organisation commissioning a website, you may be surprised to know that the accessibility of your website is not the responsibility of your website designer.

    The UK legislation clearly states that the responsibility for ensuing your website is accessible lies with you, the owner of the site.

    So for you the definition of the phrase ‘disabled people’ means you need to be absolutely clear when commissioning your website that it must be accessible to all users.

    There are exceptions to this rule in that the any costs incurred and efforts you make are considered reasonable in relation to the resources you have as an organisation.

    Jim Byrne

    Digital Accessibility Consultant

    Do you need your website to be accessible to disabled people? Do you need an accessibility audit of your existing website? I can help. Contact me. Tel: 07810 098 119

    Public Sector Equality Duty – A summary

    What is the public sector equality duty for?

    The public sector equality duty is designed to ensure that those carrying out public functions (including public authorities) consider how they can contribute to and help foster a more equal society. They have a duty to promote good relations between different groups and to advocate and advance equality.

    In summary:

    • Deliver improved outcomes for everyone.
    • Develop policies, based on evidence.
    • Take action to advance equality.
    • Be transparent, accessible and accountable.
    • With this policy the onus shifts away from the individual’s need to assert their right to equal treatment onto public authorities. Public authorities are now expected to be pro-active in tackling institutional discrimination.

    The public sector equality duty covers a list of ‘protected characteristics’:

    • race
    • religion or belief
    • disability
    • age
    • gender
    • gender reassignment,
    • pregnancy and maternity
    • sexual orientation

    The duty also covers marriage and civil partnerships, in relation to eliminating unlawful employment discrimination.

    How does it relate to disabled people?

    Organisations must take into account a disabled person’s impairment and ensure that that impairment is not a barrier to equal treatment. Organisations need to be pro-active i.e. not wait to react if someone complains about an issue or requests equal access or treatment. An example would be a local authority making their website accessible to disabled people and providing alternative formats available by default.

    The General Equality Duty

    The public sector equality duty is set out in the Equality Act 2010 and referred to as the ‘general equality duty’.

    The general equality duty has three elements:

    1. To eliminate unlawful discrimination.
    2. To promote equality of opportunity.
    3. To foster good relations between those with ‘protected characteristics’ and those who do not.

    A public authority must take account of these three needs to comply with the general equality duty.

    Who is subject to the General Equality Duty?

    The list includes health boards, education authorities, further and higher education authorities, local authorities, the police, fire and rescue authorities and Scottish Ministers. There is a full list of those subject to the act online.

    The duty covers public authorities when carrying out their public functions as service providers, as policy makers and as employers and also covers services and functions which are contracted out.

    When private and voluntary sector organisations are carrying out a ‘public function’ they are also covered by the duty. A public function’ is one defined as such by the Human Rights Act 1998.

    In order to meet the general duty, a public authority must:

    • Be educated about the the act and the requirements implied so that they can be applied to policies and practices. Duties under the act should be considered at the time when new policies are being created.
    • The decision making process must take heed of the three needs of the general equality duty in a way that influences the outcomes of those decisions.
    • The general equality duty is a ‘continuing duty’ – so it has to be considered during the implementation of policy and must be continually reviewed.
    • The public equality duty also applies to anyone exercising public functions on behalf of a public body; the duty rests with the public authority even when delegated to a third-part organisation.

    Specific Duties

    Secondary legislation outlining specific duties came into force on 27 May 2012.

    Each listed authority is required to:

    • Publish progress on mainstreaming of the equality duty, equality outcomes, gender pay gap and equal pay.
    • Review policies and practices and asses them.
    • Gather employee information.
    • Consider award criteria in relation to public procurement
    • Publish information in a manner that is accessible.

    How Jim Byrne Accessible Website Design Can help organisations comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty

    Many of the organisations subject to the act have websites and documents that are not accessible to disabled people. If a disabled person cannot access information on a website managed by a public authority and no alternatives are offered that would be considered as unequal treatment under the Equality Act 2010 .

    The services I provide can help in the following ways. I can:

    • Carry out a website access audit to check if there are any barriers to disabled people accessing content.
    • Help make the updates necessary to ensure your website is accessible
    • Develop a new usable accessible website for your in so that you are being pro-active in meeting the needs of disabled people
    • Update your existing website to make it more accessible.
    • Identify and fix accessibility problems with PDF’s or Word documents you publish so that your publications are accessible to your target groups.

    Contact me to discuss any of the above. Telephone: 07810 098 119

    Or fill in the contact form below:

      Bruce Maguire versus Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG)

      A summary of the seminal case relating to Inaccessible Websites and Disability Discrimination Legislation

      In June 1999 Bruce Maguire lodged a complaint with the Human Rights & Equal Opportunities Commission under the Australian Disability Discrimination Act. His complaint was that he was being discriminated against because he could not access the contents of the Olympic Games website.

      As a highly skilled user of a refreshable Braille display he was used to being able to access the content of web pages, however, he was unable to access important content on the Olympic Games website.

      He won the case, but the Olympic Committee did not make the required changes, and subsequently he was awarded $20,000 dollars in compensation.

      The Olympic Games website contained the following accessibility issues:

      • There were no labels on images or imagemaps.
      • There was no access to the index of sport pages from the schedule page
      • The contents of the results table were inaccessible.

      The Olympic Committee defence

      SOCOG said that:

      • The issues with the alt attributes had been solved – and that labels had been added to all images.
      • The sports pages could be accessed via an alternative route, i.e., by typing in URLs to the pages.
      • The site was not subject to the act because it was ‘promotional’.
      • The site was too big and to make the website accessible would entail ‘unjustifiable hardship’.
      • It would require additional infrastructure, time and resources costing $2.2 million.
      • 1, 295 templates would need to be altered.
      • One person working 8 hours per day would take over a year to fix the problems.

      SOCAG reasons were not accepted

      All of the above reasons where conclusively repudiated by Australian Authorities and expert witnesses.

      The Human Rights Committee did not agree that the site was only promotional and said that it was a service provided during the Sydney Olympic Games.

      The Commission found that having to access pages by typing in a long URL did not constitute equal treatment,

      “The proposed alternative is both unorthodox and cumbersome and need not be resorted to by a sighted person.’

      Expert witnesses dismissed the arguments related to the site being too big to change; i.e., they refuted the claim that the cost, complexity and time involved would mean unjustifiable hardship for SOCOG.

      Expert witnesses concluded that,

      • Changes would take a developer with 4-10 helpers four weeks.
      • Only 394 templates would be required.
      • No new infrastructure would be required.
      • The cost of making the site accessible would be modest.
      • Accessibility tags are not different from other tags, therefore, would not take any longer to add.

      Expert witness Tom Worthington, expressed the view that the corrections would take less time than the time which was consumed talking about it.

      SOCOG lost the case and were ordered to make changes by adding alt attributes, providing access to the Sports pages and making the results tables accessible. They refused to comply and were fined $20,000 (Australian dollars).

      The Commission found that Bruce Maguire had been discriminated against and that the attitude of SOCOG – who had not taken the complaint seriously – had caused ‘considerable feelings of hurt, humiliation and rejection’.

      The Bruce Maguire v the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games set a worldwide precedent relating to the requirement for websites to be accessible in countries with similar disability discrimination legislation.


      This article was written by Jim Byrne, a Web site accessibility specialist since 1996. He is the founder of the Worldwide Guild of Accessible Web Designers and author of the QnECMS – the accessible CMS.

      If my site is accessible will it still look good?

      Absolutely. It is a myth that accessible websites are text only or cater for the lowest common denominator. There is no reason why an accessible website should be any worse or better looking than a site that is not accessible.

      Whether your website is well designed or not is down to the talents of the Web designer employed to the do the job, not whether it is accessible or not.

      How will I know if my site is accessible or not?

      It is generally accepted that if your site conforms to the good practice outlined in the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), you have demonstrated your commitment to making your site accessible.

      Evidence from court cases in other countries with similar legislation suggest that the W3C Guidelines are likely to be used as the main way to measure accessibility of an organisations’ website.

      What accessibility level is required?

      To be safe, you should aim to ensure your website meets at least Priority 2 of the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

      • The European Union recommend that member states’ websites conform to at least Priority 2 of the W3C/WCAG.
      • UK Government recommend that government websites should achieve Level AA compliance.

      What are accessibility levels?

      The W3C WCAG are a series of checkpoints designed to ensure your site will be more accessible to disabled people. The checkpoints are grouped into different levels of compliance.

      • Priority 1: If your website does not meet this standard, ‘one or more groups will find it impossible to access information in the document’
      • Priority 2: If your website does not meet this standard, ‘one or more groups will find it difficult to access information in the document’.
      • Priority 3: If your website does not meet this standard, ‘one or more groups will find it somewhat difficult to access information in the document’.

      How can I test my site?

      There are many organisations who will carry out an accessibility audit of your website (search the GAWDS website for examples). If you have in-house website design expertise seeking appropriate training may be the best way to help ensure your website will be accessible.

      Is there an ongoing process to maintain an accessible site?

      You should check the accessibility of your website regularly to ensure that you are providing an accessible service to your customers.

      Appendix A

      Links and resources related to the questions.


      Robert Hall – Document accessibility compliance (PDF, Doc)

      Bob HallAs a subject matter expert in document compliance, Bob specializes in creating and converting PDF and Microsoft Office documents to accessible formats.

      Having worked with many private, government and educational institutes for the past 8 years, Bob is proud to have dedicated his professional career to help ensure inclusion for all.

      Contact us today for,

      • Help with your policy and approach to accessible PDF publishing.
      • Training guides to help create accessible PDFs.
      • Help making existing PDF documents accessible.

      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: 07810 098 119.

      Website Accessibility Audit – for WCAG 2.1 Compliance

      Richard Morton is a member of our website accessibility audit team

      Richard Morton website accessibility audit Specialist“A large proportion of my work over the last six years has been web accessibility auditing, using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1).

      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. “

      Contact us today to discuss your digital accessibility needs.

      Website Accessibility Audit – disability access test of your website(s)

      Summary of tasks

      1. An accessibility audit of your website(s) and digital documents will be carried out resulting in a clear set of recommendations to resolve any accessibility concerns. The website will be tested against WCAG 2.1. AA guidelines. We will agree a representative sample of pages and features of the website before starting the audit. Normally this is between 3 and 10 pages.
      2. If required, I can write the first draft of your website accessibility statement and help you complete it in line with legal requirements. The content of the statement will be based on the findings of the website accessibility audit.
      3. I can provide training to motivate and inspire you to become advocates of accessible website design and equip you with skills to create and maintain accessible content. As part of the training, I will provide my 112-page Accessibility Guide and give you digital copies of all of the material used on the training course.

      If you decide not to take up the training option I will still provide you with my website accessibility guide and the slides from my training course, at no additional cost.

      The Website Accessibility Audit – disability access test

      The website will be measured against World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) up to level AA for disability access audit.

      The aim of this disability access audit will be to find access issues which make it difficult for disabled people, and other visitors to access the website services and content. For each issue found the report will suggest a solution to ensure compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA.

      A manual technical audit using a range of ‘user agents’ (i.e. different browsers and devices) will be carried out by Jim Byrne and John Turley. Automated testing tools will also be used to check the site. For example, colour contrast checker, code validation tools and tools for enabling or disabling features of the site.

      An overview of the audit process:

      The website will be manually checked against all relevant WCAG 2.1 checkpoints. A range of tools will be used to help test the website, including a screen reader, text-only browser, colour analyser, CSS and HTML validator.

      The website will be tested on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, IOS and Android platforms. Apps on IOS and Android platforms will be used.

      Dynamic page elements will be checked for accessibility, including features using Javascript and/or other technologies.

      The accessibility of online forms will be checked to ensure that they are accessible to screen reader and keyboard users and that they continue to work when Javascript is disabled or not present.

      • A summary table will be created showing which checkpoints pass or fail.
      • There will be a short explanatory note in the table next to all failed checkpoints.
      • Solutions will be suggested to fix the issues found in order to reach WCAG 2.1 AA compliance.
      • A jargon-free report will be provided outlining the findings of the site audit.

      For each relevant checkpoint the report will include the following:

      • WCAG 2.1 Checkpoint (A & AA).
      • Severity of failure (high, low).
      • Location of failure (URL).
      • Screenshots where necessary.
      • Recommendations to resolve the issues.

      This will include a short executive summary, a list of issues that should be fixed first (i.e. those that will have the biggest impact) and a longer discussion of the issues found. The report will include screen-shots, code examples and, where necessary, links to video examples of screen reader use illustrating accessibility issues.

      The following assistive technologies will be employed:

      • VoiceOver on Macbook Pro
      • JAWS on the Windows 10
      • ZoomText on Windows 10
      • Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA), Open Source screen reader Windows 10.
      • Talk Back on Samsung Galaxy 8
      • VoiceOver on Safari on iPhone
      • Browsers IE, Safari, Chrome and Firefox in conjunction with the above assistive technologies.

      The website and documents will be checked with a range of impairments in mind, for example, colour blindness, dyslexia, learning disabilities and hearing impairment.

      Testing on mobile platforms

      My colleague John Turley brings particular expertise in relation to mobile accessibility (as well as being an experienced user of screen readers and other user tools). There are certain challenges faced in ensuring accessibility on mobile devices including screen size, screen resolution and speed. On mobile devices there are different settings to enable speech and punctuation, unlike the default settings on desktop computers.

      Approach to website accessibility auditing

      Accessibility will not be approached solely in terms of WCAG compliance. It will also be considered within a broader usability context in light of the tools and variety of devices that disabled people use when accessing website content and services.

      Ultimately, the accessibility of your website will stand or fall on its ability to provide information and services to the target audience including disabled people who are part of that audience.

      Contact us today to discuss your digital accessibility needs.

      Client Feedback

      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 the 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.

      Brigitte Cosford – Project Support Officer – Health Rights Information Scotland

      Who can benefit from these audits?

      These packages are suitable for all businesses, voluntary, education and public sector.

      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.

      Read more about out website accessibility auditing service.

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      Alternative access to client feedback ››

      “The audit was extremely comprehensive, clear and demonstrated Jim’s expertise in the area of accessible web design.” Peter Madden, Project Manager, Sealed Envelope Ltd