With the recent release of the new accessibility standards, WCAG 2.1, public organisations need to focus on their web accessibility issues and comply to the level AA, as the norm suggests.
With so many barriers that streets give to people with disabilities, coming to an office to pay taxes or solve some housing benefit doubt, is not a very pleasant experience.
Are UK council websites doing their part to make these processes as easy as possible for them?
We decide to review the online accessibility of some well-known councils and identify some web accessibility best practices that public organisations should follow.
Listen and translate content with Browsealoud
Oxford City Council uses a tool to listen and translate the content on the website. For those users that have difficulties reading web pages, they will find a button at the top of each web page of the website which enables the user to create and download audio files and play them on another device. Also, it can translate the text on each page into a variety of different languages.
Change the text size, colours and fonts
For those who struggle with colours, text size and font, London Borough of Hounslow has a very good accessibility practice that lets the user change the text and colour to suit their preferences. They even offer a preview section, to see the changes before applying them to the whole website.
Councils should consult with accessibility and UX experts to be able to understand the needs of disabled users and the technical solutions to provide accessibility.
They should identify accessibility barriers and remove them,. One way to do this is involving people with disabilities in user testing to ensure the website doesn’t provide limitations for them and to be compliant with WCAG 2.1 standards.