At the start of 2004 i became increasingly surprised about the low quality of disability websites in the UK with respect to website accessibility. Despite frequent denouncement of business and government websites and the increasing threat of legal action, they did (do?) not yet seem to have their own house in order. If the web is become a more accessible place, then we must all learn to walk the walk as well as talk the talk!
This is press release from Mar 30th 2004, the full report is available for download at the bottom of this page.
Surprise findings from a research survey 'Disability 50' show that the majority of disability organisations do not address accessibility needs sufficiently in their web and digital communications.
The research carried out by Ethical Media reveals the gap between the rhetoric and the reality of disability groups' communications activities and points to an urgent need to address web accessibility, usability and effective digital communications in the disability sector.
The Disability 50 Accessibility Report reviewed the standard of accessibility of 50 leading UK disability websites benchmarking these against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) developed by global and industry-led standards body W3C.
Significantly, 58% failed to achieve a compliance level, which the WCAG state as 'compulsory'.
Head of Digital Communications at Ethical Media, Keith Patton says:
"This shows what many people have suspected for some time: that organisations in or supporting the disability sector do not yet adequately consider web accessibility and usability as a priority in their communications strategies. As a result, significant proportions of users are likely to find it difficult, even impossible, to access information, restricting the flow of communication between any given organisation and its customer base".
Although the majority of disability groups fail to comply with W3C global standards a few organisations are proving to be exemplary in this field including: AbilityNet (http://www.abilitynet.org.uk), Action for Blind People (http://www.afbp.org) British Council for Disabled People (http://www.bcodp.org.uk) and the Disability Rights Commission (http://www.drc-gb.org).
"Ethical Media's survey highlights the need for disability groups to lead by example and walk their own talk. It also shows the number of conflicting communications pressures that these organisations face. With the right approach and strategy there is no reason why disability groups can't integrate accessibility within their own communications. The risk of not doing this could have far-reaching reputational implications".
Disability50Report.pdf (219.89 KB) - The full report (inaccessible pdf, yep i know, to do!)Disability50PressRelease.pdf (137.23 KB) - the press release as aboveDisability50PressRelease.doc (118.5 KB) - the press release as above
- As featured on...
- And in print...
Design Week - April 8th 2004Third Sector magazine - April 15th 2004New Media Age - April 2004
Powered by: newtelligence dasBlog 1.9.6264.0
The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent
my employer's view in anyway.
© Copyright 2013, Keith Patton