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