Web Design Blog : Toolkit Websites

Web Design Blog

Is Your Site Legally Accessible?

As a UK business owner, you have to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act of1995. You are required to make reasonable adjustments to your services and the way you provide them to ensure that disabled people can use them. This includes your business website.

The DDA states that disabled people should not be treated less favourably than other people when accessing services. This duty extends to the provision of websites where a website falls within the definition of a service under the terms of the DDA.

This means you must ensure that there are no obvious barriers to disabled users on your website. Whilst there are no formal guidelines, the government has supplied guidance for government websites here:

Government guidance on accessibility on websites

How does this apply to your website and your website design?

Well obviously, a fully flash site isn’t going to cut it. Flash websites can’t be read by screen readers, which are often used by visually impaired and other disabled users.

It is best practice to use simple and easy to understand words on your website. Avoid the use of jargon wherever possible on your websites.

Any pictures on your site should have captions with descriptions of the pictures so the website makes sense when read with a screen reader.

Text should be in high contrast to the background. Black on white is best, but white on dark blue is also good. Avoid combinations including red and green in your website design as these will not always be visible to colour blind users.

Make sure your business website structure is very simple, and that users can easily navigate from one part of the site to the other. At the very least there should be a link on each page to the home page.