Accessibility to all users is a legal requirement. The W3C (World Wide Web Compliance) have laid down specific guidelines, in order for organisations such as the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) to not only follow the legal requirement in terms of accessibility but to outreach the legal requirement. AET aims to satisfy these criteria and in doing so make its websites accessible to all users.
Areas of accessibilities are split in to three categories of priority.
- Priority 1 A Web content developer must satisfy this checkpoint. Satisfying this checkpoint is a basic requirement for some groups to be able to use Web documents.
- Priority 2 A Web content developer should satisfy this checkpoint. Satisfying this checkpoint will remove significant barriers to accessing Web documents.
- Priority 3 A Web content developer may address this checkpoint. Satisfying this checkpoint will improve access to Web documents.
AET meets all Priority 1 criteria within the 14 guidelines set down by the W3C.
- Provide content that, when presented to the user, conveys essentially the same function or purpose as auditory or visual content.
- Ensure that text and graphics are understandable when viewed without colour.
- Mark up documents with the proper structural elements. Control presentation with style sheets rather than with presentation elements and attributes.
- Use markup that facilitates pronunciation or interpretation of abbreviated or foreign text.
- Ensure that tables have necessary markup to be transformed by accessible browsers and other user agents.
- Ensure that pages are accessible even when newer technologies are not supported or are turned off.
- Ensure that moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating objects or pages may be paused or stopped.
- Ensure that the user interface follows principles of accessible design: device-independent access to functionality, keyboard operability, self-voicing, etc.
- Use features that enable activation of page elements via a variety of input devices.
- Use interim accessibility solutions so that assistive technologies and older browsers will operate correctly.
- Use W3C technologies (according to specification) and follow accessibility guidelines. Where it is not possible to use a W3C technology, or doing so results in material that does not transform gracefully, provide an alternative version of the content that is accessible.
- Provide context and orientation information to help users understand complex pages or elements.
- Provide clear and consistent navigation mechanisms — orientation information, navigation bars, a site map, etc — to increase the likelihood that a person will find what they are looking for at a site.
- Ensure that documents are clear and simple so they may be more easily understood.