Quarkside

03/12/2010

Web accessibility: No excuses now.

Filed under: Standards — lenand @ 4:15 am
Tags: , ,

One of the reason for digital exclusion is poor appreciation of the needs elderly and physically impaired people.  It is not just a technical issue and trying to adopt W3G accessibility standards on the screen.   Such people have to be shown how to use the Web effectively and also be included in the design and testing processes.

Now there are no excuses.  On November 30th the BSI Launched BS 8878:2010 Web accessibility. Code of practice. It provides a comprehensive definition of what is required, including a 16 step process for creating accessible web products.  What I particularly liked was “Step 10: choose the target browsers, operating systems and assistive technologies to support.”  It gives me a chance to restate my belief that the Opera browser is the best for those with visual impairment.  The preferences allows me easily to

  • Preset a magnification for all pages (with override of course)
  • Wrap text to fill screen areas
  • Change the colour contrast of browser window tags using skins

There’s lots more too, but then so do most other browsers.

With talk about consolidating Web sites in the public sector, “Digital by default proposed for government services“, it is surely necessary that officials conform to the standard in all that they plan and do to reach more digitally excluded citizens.  Quarkside will observe with interest.

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