Annual Report of the Information Commissioner 2016

Accessibility based on WCAG 2.0

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 covers a wide range of recommendations for making web content more accessible.

According to the W3C, content on a web page or web applications (including text, images, forms and sounds) should be:

  • Perceivable: usable regardless of a person’s ability to see, hear or touch.
  • Operable: usable forms, controls and navigation.
  • Understandable: content and interface are clear and easy to understand.
  • Robust: content can be used reliably by a wide range of devices.

It is important that accessibility is an on-going commitment. While a site may comply with WCAG 2.0 at its launch, those standards also need to be maintained as new content and features are added.

Factors that help improve accessibility include:

  • Using clear labels for navigation and important buttons.
  • Using clear and simple language.
  • Ensuring that information does not rely solely on colour.
  • Providing accessible documents.
  • Providing Alt Text, transcripts or captions for video and audio content. A good summary may be provided to identify what the video/audio is about.
  • Providing information in different ways.

    For example, offer the person the option of having information in formats such as large print, Braille or ‘easy to read’.

    ‘Easy to read’ is designed to be both easier to read and understand. It is of specific benefit for people with intellectual difficulties but may also benefit younger readers and people with very low literacy levels. Typically, ‘easy to read’ content is supported by images that help explain the text.
  • Evaluating the accessibility of a website. When developing or redesigning a site, evaluating accessibility early and during the development process can identify accessibility problems when it is easier to address them.


World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provides a list of web accessibility evaluation tools

Learn more

The Centre of Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) provides guidance on web accessibility for developers, designers and content creators/editors ‘ Guidance for Online Public Services ’

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provides‘ Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 ’

Find out more about the Code of Practice on Accessibility of Public Services and Information Provided by Public Bodies (2006)

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