How to make sure your website is accessible

Simon Jones, Founder & MD at Studio 24, Cambridge, answers questions from small business owners and designers on how to create accessible websites. Between 2020 and 2022, the Studio 24 team redesigned the website for the international web standards organisation W3C (founded by the inventor of the web Tim Berners-Lee) and continue to work with their team to support and develop their digital offering. The work won Studio 24 several awards including Gaadys – Honouring advances in digital accessibility, W3 Awards for Illuminating brilliance in digital experiences, content and creativity, and a BIMA Award, the UK’s longest-standing and most prestigious digital and tech award. Find our more about this work at Studio 24

Links mentioned in the video

Easy checks from W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) https://www.w3.org/WAI/test-evaluate/preliminary/

Top 6 issues: https://webaim.org/projects/million/
Colour contrast is the biggest single issue.

Free accessibility course https://www.w3.org/WAI/courses/foundations-course/
Good tool to start accessibility testing https://accessibilityinsights.io/
Run a FastPass check to get started https://accessibilityinsights.io/docs/web/getstarted/fastpass/
Tips on designing for accessibility: https://www.w3.org/WAI/tips/designing/

This set of posters from GOVUK is also really good https://accessibility.blog.gov.uk/2016/09/02/dos-and-donts-on-designing-for-accessibility/

Free WordPress plugin https://sa11y.netlify.app/
And https://equalizedigital.com/accessibility-checker/

Browser plugins to help test for accessibility: https://www.deque.com/axe/browser-extensions/  And https://wave.webaim.org/

Colour contrast checker https://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/
Avoid accessibility overlays https://www.studio24.net/blog/accessibility-overlays-panacea-placebo-or-poison/
Business case for accessibility https://www.w3.org/WAI/business-case/

These are the facts and figures I’ve used in talks before https://www.scope.org.uk/media/disability-facts-figures/
How many people are affected by a disability?
• 14 million people in UK
• 135 million people in EU
• 1 billion people worldwide

Finally, this is a good set of guides on accessibility for different job roles: https://accessibility-manual.dwp.gov.uk/guidance-for-your-job-role

Comments from the group chat

The RNIB have a guide called See It Right too and that gives pixel and point guidance for digital and print https://www.rnib.org.uk/living-with-sight-loss/independent-living/accessible-nhs-and-social-care-information/creating-accessible-information-and-communication-resources-for-health-and-social-care/

https://jetpack.com/features/security/library/enable-accessibility-plugin/
This is one of my favourite things to use at the moment to show how many people have accessibility needs that visit your site: https://design.education.gov.uk/learn/how-many-users