KIKK ACCESSIBILITY

Websites That Work For All

KIKK ACCESSIBILITY

Websites That Work For All

Making Websites Accessible by All
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Accessibility

Accessibility for all is a hugely important topic for web developers and, at Kikk, we are enabling high levels of accessibility for all new websites, and encouraging existing clients to let us upgrade older sites. Accessibility is now enshrined in law for Government, Local Authority and Educational Establishment websites, but even if not required by law, your website should be built with the following conditions in mind:

  • Visual Impairment: This includes a partial or total inability to see or to perceive color contrasts.
  • Hearing Impairment: Some users have a reduced ability to hear.
  • Motor Skills/Physical Disabilities: Users may have difficulty moving parts of their bodies, including making precise movements (such as when using a mouse).
  • Photosensitive Seizures: Conditions such as epilepsy can cause seizures that are often triggered by flashing lights.
  • Cognitive Disabilities: There are also many conditions that affect cognitive ability, such as dementia and dyslexia.

What is Web Accessibility?

Their are many people who do not have the full set of physical abilities which many of us take for granted, and some of these 'dis-abilities' make life difficult when using computers. For example:

  • Someone with colour-blindness may not be able to see that a link has a low-contrast highlight
  • Someone with poor vision may not be able to read smaller text, unusually decorative text or text that is 'obscured by design'
  • Certain people are unable to use a mouse or Trackpad - e.g. those with Parkinson's or Motor Neurone disease, who have suffered a Stroke or even have an arm related physical injury. They may need, for example, to navigate the website using just a keyboard.
  • People with serious near-total visual impairment use 'Text-to-Speech' software to read the content aurally and also to describe images. Text must be compatible and images need specially composed 'description' tags.

There are other examples, but hopefully you get the picture.

Web Designer Responsibility

Web designers need to do the following:
  • Build sites (or select themes) that can be navigated without a mouse
  • Use Colours that comply with acceptable contrast levels
  • Ensure that text can be enlarged to acceptable levels without breaking the page layout
  • Ensure that graphics and photographs have good descriptive text in the meta tags
  • Ensure that links are underlined by default or at least have very high contrast highlight settings
  • Use animation with caution - excessive animation or flashes of various kinds can cause real problems

Content Manager's Responsibility

Whoever is responsible for updating the website content needs to ensure that future changes and additions maintain accessibility:

  • if you add a photographs, good quality Description tags need to be added
  • If you add video, descriptive text, Captions, Transcripts as appropriate
  • Uploading of documents that are readable by Text to Speech software - ideally offering an HTML version of the document

Parish Councils & Smaller Local Authorities

Achieving AA or AAA levels of Accessibility compliance is a big ask for smaller institutions, and current legislation does allow for exemptions due to 'Disproportionate Burden'. This can apply where Local Authorities simply do not have the funds or resources to pay for hand coded websites and content that achieves the highest levels of accessibility.

Nevertheless, we wanted to offer a solution that meets all the essential requirements for such institutions, without breaking the bank and without presenting an impossible learning curve for non technical staff who may be involved in posting content.