What is accessibility?

Website accessibility describes whether a website can be used by people of all abilities. Good accessibility makes it simple for every user to find, use and understand content. 

UK Government Accessibility Regulations mean that all public sector organisations have a legal duty to make their websites accessible for everyone, including those with disabilities. 

If you fail to meet accessibility standards you could be breaking the Equality Act 2010. The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 became UK law in September 2018, with the compliance deadline for making public sector websites accessible to everyone being 23 September 2020.

Publishing web content in HTML makes it accessible to as many people as possible across all devices. It also allows for users who need to change the way they view the web page, for example, changing the size of the text or colour contrast.

A good measure of whether web content is accessible is to make sure users can:

  • perceive and understand it, whether through sight, sound or touch
  • operate using screen readers, voice activation software, high contrast, and other tools with ease
  • understand the content written in plain English
  • access the content with all browsers and devices

We are constantly improving based on research and best practice. Any significant changes to our guidance are available on the Updates page.

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