Updated 13 January 2013
Accessibility is the word used to describe how easily a website can be used by people of all abilities and disabilities.
Accessibility is important to us
We are committed to ensuring that our website is as accessible as reasonably possible to all visitors.
And we are committed to making our own website usable by all people, whatever their level of abilities or disabilities.
We therefore try to follow UK best-practice accessibility guidelines.
For example, we have:
- included buttons at the top of every page to enable users to make text larger;
- added a skip navigation button to enable screen reader users to navigate straight to main content;
- carefully chosen colours and the contrast between colours, the size of text and the choice of fonts;
- tried to create an intuitive, logical, hierarchical website navigation structure based on the three-click rule to enable users to quickly find information;
- used CSS (cascading style sheets) to control content layout;
- only used tables when presenting data requiring a tabular format;
- wherever possible used simple language written in short sentences and paragraphs with correct punctuation;
- ensured that when forms are used they follow a logical tab sequence and make use of label elements to identify the input required;
- successfully tested our website to ensure that visually impaired visitors can read content by means of the Google ChromeVox screen reader.
Using assistive technology can also help
We have tried to ensure that our website is accessible to everyone but despite our best efforts you may find that by also customising your computer to suit your individual needs will improve your experience when visiting our website.
The BBC My Web website offers useful advice for how to:
- use your computer's accessibility features, or
- install assistive technologies.
Computer accessibility features
Computer accessibility features enable you to:
- change text and background colours,
- make text larger,
- change fonts,
- magnify your screen,
- make your mouse pointer easier to see,
- make your computer speak text aloud,
- make your keyboard easier to use,
- use your keyboard to control the mouse.
Let us know if you have difficulties using our website
We try hard to ensure our website is accessible but you may still experience some limitations.
If you do find any part of our website difficult to use then please tell us about your experience and we will do our best to try to
find a solution.
When contacting us, please:
- describe the problem (where it occurred and what the problem was),
- tell us where in the website you were having difficulty (by copying the URL from the browser address bar, or describing the web
- provide details about what you were trying to do, and why it was difficult or impossible to do it,
- provide details about your computer's operating system and any accessibility software and which browser you were using at the time.
The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative offers useful advice to those providing feedback to website owners.
Our Template Designs
When designing Joomla! templates we aim to follow UK best-practice accessibility guidelines.
- we test all our templates to ensure they are W3C XHTML 1.0 and W3C CSS Level 3 compliant;
- we aim for all our template designs to comply with the requirements of WCAG 2.0 Level A;
- we aim for all our template design textual content colour combinations to comply with the requirements of WCAG 2.0 Level AA.
Our Website Designs
We build our websites using the Joomla!® 2.5 CMS and Joomla!® 3.0 CMS (content management system). Both are W3C XHTML 1.0 and W3C CSS Level 3 compliant.
3rd Party Extensions
Whilst not all 3rd Party Joomla! Extensions are W3C XHTML 1.0 and W3C CSS Level 3 compliant, our policy is to recommend only those 3rd Party Joomla! Extensions which are more rather than less compliant with these guidelines.
Our DIY Starter, GoPRO and eCommerce website designs incorporate exemplar content to demonstrate to our customers how they may manage website content in accordance with UK best-practice accessibility guidelines.
- images utilise an "ALT" or "TITLE" tag to provide a text based alternative to the image;
- tables are only used when presenting data requiring a tabular format;
- colour is not relied upon as a method of conveying information;
- there is sufficient contrast ratio between background and foreground colours to allow viewing on a black and white display or by someone with visual impairment;
- simple language is written in short sentences and paragraphs, using correct punctuation;
- where forms are used they follow a logical tab sequence and make use of label elements to identify the input required;
- website navigation uses an intuitive, logical, hierarchical structure based on the three-click rule to enable users to quickly find information.
More about XHTML
More about XHTML
XHTML code tells the web browser what goes where. It is important that xhtml is correct to ensure that website content is displayed correctly.
Compliance with XHTML 1.0 ensures that Web pages will appear in a uniform way across different browser platforms.
When a website has valid XHTML it means that it conforms to the standards set out by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
A website built using valid XHTML code is more accessible than one that isn't.
More about CSS
More about CSS
CSS (cascading style sheets) control the appearance of a website.
The benefits of using CSS to seperate the design elements of a website from the rest of its code are:
- more simple design,
- faster loading websites,
- increased accessibility.
When a website has valid CSS it conforms to the standards set out by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
A website built using valid CSS is more accessible than one that isn't.
UK best-practice accessibility guidelines
UK Equality Law
UK equality law requires that companies and other organisations take reasonable steps to ensure that as many disabled people as possible have full access to goods, services and places of interest.
This legislation extends to the provision of information and services via the internet.
Equality Act 2010
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act came into force in October 2010, replacing the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in England, Scotland and Wales.
The Disability Discrimination Act provided protection for disabled people from direct discrimination only in employment and related areas.
The Equality Act protects disabled people against direct discrimination in areas beyond the employment field (such as the supply of goods, facilities and services).
How does the new Equality Act differ from the old Disability Discrimination Act?
This is what the UK Government's Office for Disability Issues states on its website:
"The main purpose of the Equality Act 2010 (EA) is to streamline and strengthen anti-discrimination legislation in Great Britain. It provides the legal framework that protects people, including disabled people, from discrimination.
It replaces a range of anti-discrimination legislation, including the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and subsequent amendments.
The EA does not replace the UK-related parts of the DDA for civil servants working in Northern Ireland."
Source: Office for Disability Issues.
The Royal National Insitute for the Blnd (RNIB) usefully summarise the UK Law for Websites on their website, rnib.org.uk.
Interestingly, some parts of the previous legislation still apparently apply to Northern Ireland!
BS 8878, the British Standard on web accessibility, was published in November 2010.
It builds upon the 2006 publicly available specification ‘Guide to Good Practice in Commissioning Accessible Websites’ (PAS 78).
BS 8878 Web accessibility and its accompanying Code of Practice is applicable to all public and private organizations wishing to offer accessible, usable websites to their customers.
The Code of Practice offers guidance on process, rather than on technical and design issues.
eAccessibility Action Plan
The UK Government eAccessibility Action Plan
Published in 2011, the eAccessibility Action Plan aims:
- to support the improvement of public websites, IT equipment and online content to suit the needs of disabled people,
- to contribute to an inclusive digital economy for people with specific needs.
The eAccessibility Action Plan covers regulation, accessible consumer technology and digital equipment, website services, accessible content, and awareness and promotion.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
These are a set of guidelines for making website content accessible.
They are published by the W3C (Worldwide Web Consortium) as part of its Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) in an effort to improve the accessibility of the World Wide Web.
The current version of WCAG is WCAG 2.0. It consists of three levels of conformance: Level A, Level AA and Level AAA.
Wynchcote template designs aim to comply with the HTML and CSS technique requirements of:
WCAG Level AA SC 1.4.3 requires the visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1, except for the following:
- Large Text: Large-scale text and images of large-scale text have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1;
- Incidental: Text or images of text that are part of an inactive user interface component, that are pure decoration, that are not visible to anyone, or that are part of a picture that contains significant other visual content, have no contrast requirement.
- Logotypes: Text that is part of a logo or brand name has no minimum contrast requirement.
The intent of Success Criterion (SC) 1.4.3 is to provide enough contrast between text and its background so that it can be read by people with moderately low vision.
Providing a minimum luminance contrast ratio between the text and its background can make the text more readable even if a person cannot see the full range of colours, or can see no colour.
The Royal National Institute for the Blind offer a summary on their website at rnib.org.uk.
The Joomla!® name is used under a limited license from Open Source Matters in the United States and other countries. Wynchcote Limited is not affiliated with or endorsed by Open Source Matters or the Joomla! Project.