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Website Accessibility Audit

The People

The Internet should be a place where people with disabilities do not feel excluded or disadvantaged. For example, the Internet should allow a blind person to pay bills, shop for food or book a holiday without the assistance of a sighted guide. Unfortunately, due to the inaccessibility of websites the Internet is barred to the very people it should be of most benefit to.

To get a feel of how people with various visual impairments might experience the web, please visit our visualisation page.

The Market

Traditionally a lot of disabled people had to rely on able bodied helpers for even basic shopping. With the advent of the internet it has become possible for people with disabilities to become more independent and do their shopping online or find information on any topic imaginable.

Accessibility is not only about making websites accessible to people with various disabilities. It is also about making those websites accessible on the next-generation of Internet access devices, for example telephony and PDAs.

The Law

Under the New Zealand Human Rights Act companies have a legal obligation to ensure that their services do not discriminate against people with disabilities. If company's websites, extranets and intranets are not accessible to the disabled community it can be seen as discrimination. Similar laws exist in the UK, Australia and the USA.

The Standards

An international set of guidelines has been developed under the Website Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The guidelines are called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 1.0 (WCAG 1.0).

The WCAG 1.0 defines three levels of accessibility, namely A, AA and AAA. Each level builds on the others and will allow for a wider range of audience to access sites that conform to that standard.

Accessibility Audit

A W 3 A Accessibility Audit will help your company remain legal but will also enable you to access a poorly represented market of potential clients.

The Service

  • An initial consultation to determine the scope of the audit
  • A manual audit of the website against the WCAG 1.0 guidelines
  • A comprehensive report detailing areas of non-compliance
  • A full re-audit of the entire site once the recommendations have been implemented
  • Certification of the website, extranet or intranet

The audit can be performed at any one of the WCAG 1.0 levels, i.e. A, AA or AAA.

Manual Process

We prefer not to use automated tools to perform these audits as the tools cannot interpret the content of a site and thus ensure that it is indeed compliant. For example one of the requirements is that all images must have an ALT attribute. If a site had "image" as the ALT attribute for each and every page the automated tools would pass the site against this requirement whereas a manual check reveals that the ALT attributes do not comply. The only time automated tools are used is to check the validity of the HTML/XHTML coding.

Further information

Please read our article on Is your website legal? for more information.


Contact us today for a free, no obligation, quote or if you would like more information.