Accessibility is a process wherein you try and ensure your website, application or service is as accessible as practical and excluding as few people as possible. It isn’t always possible to remove all accessibility barriers, as sometimes users requirements can contradictory, however a key principle of Accessibility is being aware of these requirements even if they can’t all be met.
Putting this into practice involves coding websites and applications to recognised standards as well as doing testing to identify issues and validate fixes put in place. Testing can be performed using automatic tools which simulate how different users will interact with the website. This has benefits as it can be performed relatively quickly, but should ideally also be supplemented by real world testing that may pick up issues that other testing may not identify.
The UK government have regulations around accessibility for all public sector bodies. Broadly these are that these bodies must:-
- Meet the international WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standard (https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/)
- Publish an accessibility statement that explains how accessible their service.
Here’s some additional reading if you’d like to know more:-
- The Government Guidance – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/accessibility-requirements-for-public-sector-websites-and-apps
- Straightforward government guidance on what an accessibility statement should cover: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/make-your-website-or-app-accessible-and-publish-an-accessibility-statement#publish-your-accessibility-statement