Ten per cent of web users have a disability that affects how they use their computers. It is important to consider accessibility issues when designing websites so that people with disabilities can use them.
Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Disability Discrimination Order (Northern Ireland) 2006, we also have a legal obligation to make our website accessible to all.
This includes people with:
- visual impairments, for example, blindness or low vision
- colour blindness
- hearing difficulties, for example, deafness or hard of hearing
- motor disabilities
- cognitive and neurological difficulties, for example, dyslexia, dyscalculia, epilepsy and attention deficit disorder.
Our website and accessibility
Our website has been designed with accessibility in mind. It complies with recommendations for UK government websites and Web Accessibility Initiative guidelines supplied by the World Wide Web Consortium. It also marks the site on a range of criteria, including:
- how easy it is to find information
- how well-structured the site is
- how clear and readable our content is
- how it meets the requirements of those using adaptive or alternative technologies such as screen readers and access keys
- whether images and downloadable files are accessible to those with disabilities.
Our site is also tested regularly to ensure it meets level A standard of the Web Accessibility Initiative guidelines.
Benefits of accessibility
There are many advantages to making our website accessible. These include:
- easier to use – clear navigation, well-written content and good colour contrast makes the site easier to use for everyone
- bigger audience – making our site accessible means more people are able to visit it
- environmentally-friendly – an accessible website reduces the need for alternate formats like large-print documents
- it’s the right thing to do – an accessible website shows that we are committed to making our services available to as many people as possible.
We are working hard to make our site as accessible as possible to the widest range of people. However, we welcome your feedback if you feel there are areas of the site which need to be improved.
You can tell us what you think by using our enquiry form.