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Website accessibility for all
A consumers’ guide to the British Standard for web accessibility (BS 8878)
For most of us, the internet has become a part of everyday life. In 2010, 73% of UK households had internet access and it’s estimated that 30 million people use the internet daily for activities such as:
• online banking
• shopping for goods and services
• keeping in touch with friends and family
• job hunting
• booking holidays
• watching TV
• listening to the radio
• and much more.
The internet is a rich source of information and offers access to a wide range of products and services, some of which are only available online. Website customers often benefit from lower prices and special discounts, too. But if you are one of the millions of UK consumers who are elderly or disabled, you might find some websites difficult, or even impossible, to use.
For example, poorly designed websites can be difficult to read or navigate, particularly if you are blind, partially sighted or deaf, have learning difficulties or limited dexterity, meaning that you could miss out on some of the benefits that these websites have to offer.
Easy-to-use websites benefit everyone. Organisations are able to reach more customers, and consumers can take advantage of online information, choice and savings.
If an organisation wants to improve its web accessibility, where should it start and what should it do? That’s where the Web Accessibility Code of Practice (BS 8878) can help.