The W3C state that:
‘The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, location, or ability. When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability ... However, when web sites, applications, technologies, or tools are badly designed, they can create barriers that exclude people from using the Web. Accessibility is essential for developers and organizations that want to create high quality websites and web tools, and not exclude people from using their products and services.’
Our approach to accessibility
Our approach to accessibility is to design and build better websites for everyone, regardless of their level of disability. By using web standards and conforming to accessibility best practices, we’re not only able to provide experiences that cater for disabilities, but also people whose situation may change over time, or in different situations. For example, a person in bright sunlight may require high contrast as much as someone whose vision is permanently impaired, while a person with a broken arm may choose to use voice controls for a period of time.
We aim to meet Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 for our web projects, unless there are exceptions agreed for specific reasons. Many of our UX, development and SEO principles support this ambition.
The additional requirements that Level AA requires above Level A are very achievable. Their implementation helps to ensure that better quality sites are being created, and not only for users who may have a disability. Level AA is the minimum standard that UK Government sites must meet, and this is an appropriate benchmark for an organisation of the RNLI’s stature.
We look to set these requirements out in our digital briefs and will look to add testing on assistive technologies into our processes as these principles become embedded.