Living by your principles – how we made our website accessible


It can be hard to find the time to work on your business rather than in it delivering for clients. But, in 2023 we did just that and redesigned and rebuilt our website to better reflect where we are, where we’re going and what we can do for our clients.

One of the challenges we set ourselves was to meet WCAG 2.1 AAA. This is a level up from the AA the public sector must meet so as to comply with the Government’s legal requirements when it comes to their websites and apps.

It was, and is still, important for us as a team to meet this for several reasons. One, all websites we believe should be as accessible to as many people as possible. Two, by doing so we would increase our expertise and knowledge in this realm giving us new insights which we could then apply to our clients.

How we made the website meet WCAG 2.1 AAA

The redesign and rebuild of our website did not happen following a rebrand of the business and so once the majority of the design and build work had been completed we then set  time aside to do a full audit of the website. This was a thorough process whereby we checked everything against the guidelines to establish our baseline and the areas where we needed to adapt.

One area which was preventing us from meeting AAA was that of our colours and the contrast, or lack thereof, between them. This was a straightforward fix that involved darkening them to meet contrast requirements. We also built in solid background colours as a fallback option, especially when content overlaid imagery or video.

To meet AAA we also developed multiple custom solutions that dynamically labelled external links, added title and info tags, and correctly incorporated aria-label tags into forms and inputs. This was all achieve through bespoke code written by our developers. These adjustments meant information could be fed directly into accessibility software, enhancing the browsing experience for all users.

Meeting WCAG 2.2 AAA

In October 2023 WCAG 2.2 was released which builds on the previous versions of accessibility guidance and introduces 9 additional success criteria.

These include visibility of items with keyboard focus, size and contrast of focus indicator, alternatives to dragging items, minimum size of targets, consistency in location of help items and input assistance.

The upgrade to 2.2 required a few upgrades from us. For example, with regards to the new support for landmark markers which are used by screen readers to understand main focal areas on a web page. Off the back of this we have adapted our coding slightly to ensure it makes use of these new tags.

The accessibility of our website and our statement to this effect will be kept under regular review, every 6 months as a minimum. In the meantime, if you have any questions about any of the elements which make up our website please get in touch with Kat.

 

 

Needs assistance with your website?

Speak to a developer today