We explore how charities can make their website accessible for their users, with the latest advice from Access’s free resource hub
There are 14.1 million people living with a disability in the UK, including 19% of working age adults and 46% of pension age adults. Yet, in 2019, a report found that less than 1% of website home pages are likely to meet standard accessibility requirements.
Making your website accessible is particularly important for the charity sector, whose services depend on reaching as many people as possible, both donors and beneficiaries.
It is also a legal matter, under the Equality Act, and, in America, web accessibility lawsuits rose by more than a third during the first half of 2021, compared to the same period a year earlier.
It’s crucial then, for charities to bear accessibility in mind when planning their digital strategy. It is a must have, regardless of how an organisation chooses to structure its website, and there are many elements to think about to ensure the site is accessible to the communities that use it.
For example, people with a visual impairment may use software tools that read text displayed on a computer screen and plays it back with human speech audio. Therefore, it is important to put descriptive alt text on images so they can be read aloud, while also considering the site’s colour scheme and brightness on the screen.
This is just one of many factors to review when building accessibility into a website. Making your website accessible forms the third pillar upon which a successful website should built, according to The Successful Charity Website Playbook from Access Group, which offers direction on how to accommodate users with different needs.
It offers a three-pronged approach, focusing on:
Websites are still generally in a poor position when it comes to accessibility, even 13 years after the World Wide Web Consortium first published its guidelines. Only last year, disability charity Scope warned that many public sector websites in the UK were unlikely to meet the 2020 legal deadline for making their websites accessible, after discovering that that nine in ten of the biggest councils in England had accessibility errors on their websites.
It is clear now that, whatever stage your charity’s site is at, a commitment to accessibility must stand at the heart of it. Access’ playbook exists to help that commitment come to fruition.
Click above to check out third guide in The Successful Charity Website series from Access Group