What is web accessibility?

It's the law for Local Authorities in the UK.

Web accessibility means ensuring websites and mobile apps can be used by as many people as possible, including those with impairments.  

Being digitally inclusive requires both content and design to be clear and simple enough that most people can use it, while supporting those who use assistive technology.

There are minimum standards, which all UK councils are legally required to meet.

Gov.uk explains the importance of accessibility, and how the regulation is monitored and enforced.


What is WCAG 2.1?

A list of 'recommendations'.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are internationally recognised recommendations for making the web more accessible. 

WCAG 2.1 detail the current recommendations. It was published on the 5th of June 2018. It extended and expanded upon WCAG 2.0, meaning content that conforms to WCAG 2.1 also conforms to WCAG 2.0.


What do I have to do?

Meet 'AA Standards' as a minimum.

WCAG defines three levels of conformity: A (lowest), AA, and AAA (highest). In the UK it is a legal requirement that public sector websites meet WCAG 2.1 AA standards as a minimum. Councils are also required to publish an accessibility statement that details their accessibility level and includes any valid reasons for areas of failure. 


How do I know how I'm doing?

Check your 'Accessibility Score'.

Silktide gives every UK council a score out of 100 in its monthly Accessibility Index. It uses automated tests and therefore can only test the parts that do not need to be reviewed by humans, but its gives a great (free) starting point and details what needs to be improved.

You can also see first hand how your site is doing by using these 'Top 5 Easy-To-Use Tools for Reviewing a Website's Performance' tools


How is local government doing in general?

Pretty good!

367 councils are now scoring as 'Good' or better in the latest Silktide Accessibility Index. But there is still work to be done, particularly amongst a small number of councils that are still scoring as 'Poor'as 'Poor'.


What should I do next?

Find out how you're doing.

  1. Check your current Accessibility Score in the Silktide Accessibility Index (or ask us to do it)
  2. Browse the Accessibility Resources on our website to get a feel for how you're doing (or ask us to do it for you)
  3. Contact us if you'd like some help (this one you need to do yourself)!

check your website's Accessibility

Five easy ways to quickly gauge the accessibility of your website using FREE tools:

  1. Check your Silktide Accessibility score (and read your areas for improvement) 

  2. Use the WebAIM (Web Accessibility In Mind) Colour Contrast Checker

  3. Try the NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) Screen Reader to replicate the experience of those with visual impairments on your site

  4. Use the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) ‘alt Decision Tree’‘ to see if your alt text is correct

  5. Gauge the 'readability' of your site using The Hemingway Editor
A pair of hands are shown using an assistive technology keyboard with a regular keyboard in the background as a point of reference.