Monthly Archives: October 2011

6 ways to keep your web site accessible

You have built an accessible web site.  Everything is working well. Your task is finished. Unfortunately it isn’t. Over time things change, tweaks are made, sites are refreshed and new content and features are added.

A conscious effort has to be made to ensure there is no slippage from the original level of accessibility. It is a continuous process but does not need to be too hard or expensive.

1. Accessibility policy

Having good, clear, comprehensive accessibility policy and processes in place which are clearly communicated to create an ethos of accessibility and accountability will be a good start.

2. Staff training and expertise

All staff who work with the web site, especially new staff need to have clear expectations around their role in accessibility. They need to be able to use the right tools and have the necessary expertise. This is particularly true for content creators. Accessibility training may be helpful for them and for technical staff.

3. New content

All new content and features need to be accessible. Make sure documents for download in whatever format are produced to accessibility standards. All new images should have appropriate alt text, and new features such as video should have captions and transcripts.

4. Feedback and complaints

It should be easy and accessible for people to give feedback about the web site, and complaints about inaccessible features should be responded to promptly.

5. Reviews

The site should have regular expert accessibility reviews to pick up any faults that may have crept in since it was built.

6. Accessibility statement

A useful accessibility statement is good practice. It may outline the international and other standards the site meets, provide help to those using the site, and provide information about any inaccessible features of the site and alternative ways to access those features.

Over time the accessibility of the site may differ from the standard described in the statement. Update the statement if there are changes. Use the statement as a guide to maintain accessibility.

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Filed under Information Accessibility, Web Accessibility