What is website accessibility?
Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them.
Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including:
Web accessibility is required by law for public sector organisations. WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines)
Equality Act of 2010 prevents businesses from discriminating on the basis of disability, and unlike some other international accessibility laws, the Equality Act explicitly applies to websites.
The law sets a clear accessibility threshold for public sector bodies; their website must align with WCAG 2.1 Level AA. They must also publish an accessibility statement listing any areas of their site that do not meet WCAG 2.1 Level AA standards.
Why is this important to your business? – Unlocking digital front doors.
You should make sure you are not breaking the law or discriminating anyone on the basis of their disability, making all doors virtually open for your website!
A recent study by Oxford university students found that only 3% of UK businesses had fully accessible websites.
The study showed 7.66 million internet users have access needs in the UK, it also estimated that by making a website more accessible, businesses could potentially increase their yearly revenue by 10-15%.
Online spending power in 2019 of users with access needs in the UK was £24.8 bn.
In 2019, businesses without accessible websites missed out on revenue of £17.1bn by customers clicking away from websites that were not easily accessible for them, even if the product was more expensive on an accessible website.
Simple steps, such as changing settings in a browser, can help you evaluate some aspects of accessibility. Comprehensive evaluation to determine if a website meets all accessibility guidelines takes more effort.
There are evaluation tools that can help your site, however, no tool alone can determine if a site meets all accessibility guidelines, testing with knowledgable web developers & people with accessible needs would be the best way to discover any problems with your website.