An accessible website allows people with disabilities, slow connections or handheld devices to perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with it. There are also knock on advantages that an accessible website is faster, more usable and has higher SEO rankings.

It is important to make sure any information you present on your site is available to your entire target audience, regardless of how they choose to view it. Not every user has the same browser or platform. Sites need to be device independent, not all users will have a mouse so it must be possible to navigate through your site using a keyboard. To facilitate users of specialist software, such as screen readers, all our sites are constructed semantically and adhere to W3C accessibility guidelines.

An important accessibility consideration is ensuring your site does not discriminate against the visually impaired. All images should be accompanied by a text description, users should have the ability to change the font size according to their preference and there should be sufficient contrast between background and content.

By removing superfluous code and separating a sites layout from its content, pages load more quickly and are more search engine friendly. Incorporating CSS allows for a more maintainable, accessible and future-proof site.

Every organisation has a social responsibility to avoid discrimination, service providers are legally obligated under the Disability Discrimination Act to ensure that they do not restrict any user group from accessing the services they provide. Aside from the social and legal requirements, an inaccessible site is unlikely to receive any traffic from the following potential revenue streams:

The 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women who have some form of colour blindness (9% of the UK population).
The 2 million UK residents who have a sight problem (4% of the population).
The 12 million members of the public aged 60 and over.
The rapidly increasing number of people accessing the internet through new technologies (PDAs, mobile phones etc)