Accessibility is the word used to describe whether a product (for example, a website, mobile site, digital TV interface or application) can be used by people of all abilities and disabilities. For instance, a website is accessible if all people, including disabled and elderly people, can use it.
At Reassurance, we aim to ensure that our website is informative and entertaining to use, as well as being accessible – this is called usability. On a website, accessibility depends on how a person’s disability affects the way they perceive information on a page and how they navigate within and between pages.
Elements that affect accessibility include:
- For people who can’t see very well: the colours and the contrast between colours; the size of text; the choice of fonts
- For people who are blind: how a screen reader interprets the elements on a page (for example, alt tags for images, and title tags for links); the inclusion of audio description for video content
- For people who can’t hear very well: how any audio-visual content is represented graphically (for example, subtitles and/or signing)
- For people who find a keyboard or mouse hard to use: the ease with which someone can navigate to various parts of the page (for instance, by tabbing)
- For people who find words difficult: the length of sentences and paragraphs; the complexity of the vocabulary; the choice of fonts and size of text; the opportunity to have text read out loud
At Reassurance, our accessibility policy takes into account these factors wherever possible. The internet can be a great enabler and source of freedom for disabled users. As such, the value of Reassurance (and the wider web) to our disabled and ageing audiences depends on its accessibility.
This is an area of importance for Reassurance. In keeping with our obligations under the Equality Act, we are committed to ensuring that Reassurance services are as accessible to disabled and elderly people as reasonably possible.
We aim for a consistently high level of usability for our entire audience, following best-practice accessibility guidelines. When a website is correctly designed, developed and edited, all users have equal access to the site’s information, functionality and benefits.
Reassurance aims to make our website accessible and usable for people of all abilities and disabilities, including older audiences, and those with visual, hearing, cognitive or motor impairments.
Many people use assistive technologies to allow them, for example, to view websites in easier-to-read colours, with larger fonts or as spoken text, or to navigate around a site using the keyboard only.
As these assistive technologies become more available and sophisticated, Reassurance wants to ensure that our website continues to work well with them to deliver a good experience for all our users.
In instances where the specific accessibility needs of some disabled user groups require Reassurance to create new or repurposed editorial content, we will do this, wherever appropriate, so that we become more inclusive to a wider online audience.
The web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 also drive our approach to website accessibility. http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211
Other helpful information can be found on the W3C website. WC3 stands for the World Wide Web Consortium. It is an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web. http://www.w3.org
We welcome feedback from our users: please contact us with any helpful comments and criticisms. We will use this information to help us to improve the accessibility of our website to all users, including disabled and elderly people.