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What is web accessibility?

Web accessibility is having a website that everyone can use. It’s about having a website were people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, interact and contribute to.

These disabilities could include blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities or photo sensitivity.

Having a fully accessible website also benefits others, including older people with changing abilities due to age.

Making webpages accessible ensures everyone has a decent user experience. If something is an issue for the general user, it will be a serious problem for a person with a disability.

Why make websites accessible?

A website should provide equal access and equal opportunity for everyone. It can help people with disabilities participate in society.

It’s the law. All websites are obliged to meet accessibility level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. On 23 September 2020 all government websites are obliged to meet the European accessibility standard EN 301 549

The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities. 

User groups

The type of users which web accessibility covers and that have some form of physical or mental disability can vary, here are just some of those users:

Visual impairments

Blindness, low vision, colour blindness and conditions such as cataracts can pose a major obstacle in accessing both textual and visual content

Deaf and hard of hearing

Although websites are primarily a visual media, the user receives valuable information from audio formats, such as videos

Mobility impaired

Inability to use a mouse, slow response time, loss of fine motor skills

Learning difficulties

Reading age below an average adult, dyslexia, autism and a general lack of understanding of jargon, technical terms and acronyms

Cognitive impairment

Inability to remember or focus on large amounts of information and stress

The UK statistics

  • 3 million people have a disability
  • 9% are colour blind
  • 10% of the population are dyslexic
  • Over 2 million people live with sight loss
  • 19% of the population have a hearing loss
  • 5 million people have learning difficulties

Website audit

The Purple Access team are offering you a free no-obligation mini 'Website Audit'