More than one in five people in the UK have a disability. Organisations have long been committed to ensuring their physical locations are accessible, but fewer pay due diligence when it comes to their digital estates.
You may not be aware of the barriers users face when interacting with your digital products. You will, however, notice them in your bottom line, or when a legal issue arises.
What is web accessibility?
Accessible design places every human, regardless of physical ability or impairment, at the centre of every product, device and service. Beyond the context of legal compliance, maintaining an accessible digital estate is integral to providing great user experiences.
Digital accessibility is measured against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These are written by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). We are members of W3C, while our co-founder and head of accessibility, Alastair Campbell, is both a co-chair and key writer of the guidelines.
Recent UK government legislation states all public sector websites and apps must be accessible and feature an accessibility statement. Find out how our strategic public sector accessibility services can help you.
Why is digital accessibility important?
Investing in accessibility opens up your service to a diverse cross-section of users you may otherwise lockout. You may not be aware that 22% of the UK population have some kind of disability. That’s 13.9 million people you are potentially blocking from accessing, using and buying your products and services. According to government research:
2.4 million people in the UK have a manual dexterity issue and use their keyboards for navigation
Over 2 million people in the UK live with sight loss and need to use a screenreader
1.5 million people in the UK have a learning difficulty and need alternative formats to understand content
19% of the UK population have hearing loss, including 6.5 million over 60 years of age, and rely on captions for audio content
10% of the UK population are dyslexic and would benefit from simple writing styles and formats
8% of men and 0.5% of women are colour blind and may not be able to read fonts with certain colour contrasts
Your website will not meet their accessibility needs by chance. You must take active steps to bring your skills, activities and outputs up to the required levels. Fixing these accessibility issues early in a project is up to 40 times cheaper than fixing them after launch.
How do you start improving accessibility?
The best way to take action is to figure out where you currently stand, and this begins with accessibility testing. We provide manual audits, automated testing and usability testing against the WCAG guidelines for our clients. While we recommend adopting an approach of regular and systematic testing, our team can quickly evaluate your digital product or service at any point in a project.
Here at Nomensa, we go beyond providing a comprehensive assessment of your current offering through audits and automatic testing. Our three-pronged approach of testing, training and consultancy uniquely places us to deliver bespoke strategies. Our accessibility services have been perfected over the course of hundreds of successful accessibility engagements and are best delivered as a programme of work.
Good web design champions accessibility from the very first line of coding. It is inclusive, progressive and ensures all user needs are met across every touch-point. But most importantly, it sends a strong signal to your sector that you truly care about the people that interact with your organisation.