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Accessibility - Key Standards

BSI Accessibility

Since the implementation of disability discrimination legislation, a company can face prosecution if their premises are inaccessible to people with disabilities.

Improvements are not restricted to building access, but also include the introduction of additional features such as grab rails, touch legible signs and visual and audio alarm systems.

Companies must take reasonable steps to ensure that as many disabled people as possible have full access to goods, services and places of interest.

BSI has a range of products to help businesses assess and implement the necessary changes. These essential guides will:

  • Provide all necessary guidance and best practice
  • Build compliance manuals
  • Integrate with existing documentation/systems
  • Manage actions and review
  • Report on 'gaps' in business systems
  • Allow flexible reporting options including export to PDF.

With the Equality Act in force since October 2010, the obligation to take "reasonable steps" extends to the provision of information (specifically, the law states that where a service "relates to the provision of information," the steps reasonable for a provider to have to take "include steps for ensuring that in the circumstances concerned the information is provided in an accessible format").

The new British standard on web accessibility, published in November 2010, builds upon the 2006 publicly available specification 'Guide to Good Practice in Commissioning Accessible Websites' (PAS 78). 'BS 8878 Web accessibility. Code of Practice' is applicable to all public and private organizations wishing to offer accessible, usable websites to their customers.

BS 8878 has been designed to introduce accessibility, usability and user experience for disabled people to non-technical professionals, some of whom may be completely new to this subject. It gives guidance on process, rather than on technical and design issues.

BS 8878 will be of interest to web developers and those who have an interest in the success of an organization's website (as employee or customer).

The British Standard was prepared by a committee of web accessibility experts.

By making web accessibility the subject of a British Standard, BSI hopes that accessibility will be regarded as one of the essential building blocks on which any public website, intranet or web-based tool is built.