Monthly Archives: July 2010

Twelve steps to an accessible web site. Hiring the right web company

For many organisations, especially small ones, building a new web site can be a daunting prospect. Hiring the right web company is critical. There are some things that can be done to get the best value out of the web development process

  1. At the outset you need a clear purpose for the site and an understanding of the site audience and why they will visit it. Will it engage the intended audience/s? This will help the web company work with you.
  2. Make sure you are clear about the standard of accessibility you want before hiring – is a web site that will be engaging and usable for all preferable to one that is “tick box” compliant. A standards compliant site can still be equally unusable for everyone.
  3. Build clear accessibility and usability requirements into your RFP
  4. Specifically ask for evidence of web accessibility and usability experience and check it out or ask an expert to check it out for you
  5. Ask the web company for accessibility examples of their work and testimonials from satisfied customers.
  6. Have they worked alongside independent accessibility experts and how successful was the project?
  7. Does the web company have values and a philosophy that embraces accessibility and usability? Is the site user more important than design, technology or the next round of web awards?
  8. Build the standard of accessibility you want into the contract and project milestone deliverables. It is too late to leave accessibility until later in the development process.
  9. Have a penalty clause if results are not delivered to an acceptable standard
  10. Make sure advice and technical testing by accessibility experts is included regularly throughout the project
  11. Build in user testing by disabled people just before the site goes live and allow time to fix any problems
  12. If, despite everyone’s best efforts your site does not meet the standard of accessibility you ideally want, have a strategy in place to help any visitors who face access barriers complete their task or find the information they need


Filed under Information Accessibility, Web Accessibility