Why provide an accessibility statement
Accessibility statements are important for several reasons:
- Show your users that you care about accessibility and about them
- Provide them with information about the accessibility of your content
- Demonstrate commitment to accessibility, and to social responsibility
As a local council you will be required to provide an accessibility statement on your website
What to include in an accessibility statement
Accessibility statements should contain at least the following:
- A commitment to accessibility for people with disabilities
- The accessibility standard applied, such as WCAG 2.1
- Contact information in case users encounter problems
It is also advisable to include the following information:
- Any known limitations, to avoid frustration of your users
- Measures taken by your organisation to ensure accessibility
- Technical prerequisites, such as supported web browsers
- Environments in which the content has been tested to work
- References to applicable national or local laws and policies
How to write an accessibility statement
Accessibility statements are primarily for users of your content. Usually they will refer to accessibility statements when they encounter problems. Technical and jurisdictional language will likely lead to confusion and increase the frustration rather than help your users. It is important to write in simple language, and to provide information that is useful to the users, rather than use the language of developers and lawyers.
In particular, accessibility statements should explain functionality and known limitations in common terms. For example, rather than to say “WCAG Success Criterion 1.2.2 was not met”, it is better to say “videos do not have captions”. Accessibility statements are not technical assessments or declarations of conformity, though they ideally refer to such background to provide verification and increase credibility.
Where to put an accessibility statement
Accessibility statements should be easy to find. Linking them to the footer of your website is an acknowledged convention, but you could include links to them from other areas from your site.
Sample accessibility statement
You can view a sample accessibility statement on the Government website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sample-accessibility-statement/sample-accessibility-statement-for-a-fictional-public-sector-website