WHAT IS ACCESSIBILITY?
Did you know that you have a legal
obligation to make your website "accessible" - in particular
to the visually impaired? Others, unable to use a mouse, rely on
a keyboard to navigate your site. This is perfectly possible if
the site design
Broadly, anyone could take
legal action against you if they cannot access information on your
site which an able bodied person can access.
If not worried about the legal aspects, or being
a good citizen, then perhaps you should worry about the potential
effect of 1.7 million individuals in the UK being either blind
or partially sighted and very possibly excluded from your potential
WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
The easiest thing is to build accessibility in
from the start. So hire a web professional that takes it seriously
- if they have an accessible site then that would be a good sign.
(but it is difficult to tell - see opposite!)
If your site is already in place then it is often
possible to make it accessible without materially affecting its
appearance and functionality.
Finally, you can follow the example of Tesco.com
and simply set up a separate, accessible, site running in parallel
with the original.
Whatever you do, by law you have to make 'reasonable'
efforts to make your site accessible. Hiring a web professional
who claims to do this would be a sound defence should you ever
finish up in court. Just make sure it's written into the contract
that one thing you want is an accessible website.