Project Description

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Improving the Accessibility of a Website

Accessibility Audit and Implementation

First Call Financials (FCF)are a team of accountancy professionals working across different sectors within the Bristol and Gloucestershire area. Part of this sees them working with a local authority to administer direct care payments to individuals.

Aware that not all of these individuals with visual, audio or other impairments could access their website, they were keen to understand what was needed to be done in order to make this possible for these clients and bring their site in line with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 to AA standard.

Having noticed an article in ATW’s newsletter Directors of FCF, Steph Roffey and Tarah Maguire, were confident in approaching ATW for this project, realising that ATW had the skills and knowledge to improve the accessibility of their website to all and knowing that there would be no budget creep.

It was agreed that the first step was to carry out a complete accessibility audit of the site and any additional digital documents to establish what further work might need to be carried out.

First Call Financials Homepage

Findings

Having carried out a thorough audit of the website the ATW team produced a comprehensive report detailing the areas that did and didn’t meet WCAG 2.1 guidelines to an AA standard with recommendations and timeframes for resolving any issues them.

FCF agreed with all the suggested changes and given their previous working relationship with ATW, were comfortable with the ATW team going into the back end of the website and make the necessary adjustments.

The key issues that were identified and fixed were:

  • Site navigation and interactive elements (such as buttons) requiring a visible outline to allow users to navigate using a keyboard.
  • Technical aspects of the site’s set up enabling users to use assistive technology.
  • Colour contrast of text and backgrounds didn’t fully meet accessibility requirements. Some of these colours were the core brand colours and so couldn’t simply be changed.
  • Some imagery didn’t have alternative text enabling partially sighted user to understand what the image is showing.

Results

Having corrected some of the issues manually on the website, ATW advised that others could be rectified using specialist AI software. This software would work two-fold:

  • It enables users to change the site’s appearance, including colours, according to their needs. Using this software, text and imagery can become more visible, or screen reader technology can be enabled.
  • It works in the background on other elements for example fixing any technical functionality issues that were flagged as part of the audit and keeping the site complaint with the accessibility guidelines going forward.

In addition, there was one pdf on the FCF website at the time of the audit that required minor changes to make it complaint. ATW created some guidelines for their team on creating accessible documents within Microsoft as well as tips on creating videos. These pointers will act as a checklist as FCF develop documents in the future and grow in their knowledge of accessibility.

Accessibility tool

“We are really pleased that our website is now accessible to all users. The AI tool is so effective and easy to use, enabling individuals to change how they interact with the website according to their visual, hearing or physical needs. We can’t wait to hear what our clients think.

Having worked with the ATW team before, we knew we could trust their advice and allow them to make the necessary changes to the backend of our website. They were thorough in their work and kept us informed at each stage coming in on budget and timeframes as agreed.”

Steph Roffey, Director, First Call Financials 

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