Sight Life’s website has been designed and developed with the needs of people with sight loss and disability in mind. We’ve also taken on board international guidance and best practice on web accessibility.
As a charity supporting people living with sight loss, we are committed to ensuring everyone can access and use our website on multiple devices. This includes people with sight problems, hearing loss, mobility and cognitive impairments. If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions about the Sight Life website, please don’t hesitate to contact us by emailing [email protected], or calling us on 029 2039 8900. We are continually seeking solutions that bring all areas of our site up to the same level of web accessibility. If you experience any difficulty, please let us know immediately so that we can work to rectify the issue as quickly as possible.
Compliance with RNIB Surf Right Guidelines
As a member of the RNIB group of charities, Sight Life works to meet the RNIB Surf Right Guidelines for web accessibility, with checkpoints taken from the Website Accessibility Initiative (WAI) guidelines, published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a consortium of 385 organisations who advise and educate on standards for internet technologies. These guidelines form an international standard for making web content more accessible for people with disabilities, and conformance with these guidelines is a basic necessity for making the internet useable by everyone.
The site is tested regularly to ensure that we are working towards the high standards we work to uphold. It has been built using code that complies with W3C standards for HTML and CSS, so that it displays correctly in current browsers, and will continue to display correctly in any browsers used in the future.
RNIB’s take on web accessibility has been summarised in the Surf Right standard. This is the result of an intensive work of research aimed to address the most important challenges faced by disabled people. Most of the guidance and requirements that need to be met to reach the Surf Right standard are based on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) recommendations. The Surf Right standard is aligned to the WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0).
RNIB Surf Right Differences from WCAG 2.0
There are some differences in the organisation of guidelines and conformance requirements between Surf Right and WCAG 2.0. Surf Right is similar to WCAG 2.0 Double-A guidance, with the following main differences:
- Exclusion of WCAG Double-A requirements: Surf Right does not require two of the more technically challenging WCAG 2.0 Double-A requirements where practical alternatives can be provided.
- Inclusion of WCAG 2.0 Triple-A requirements: Surf Right includes some of the higher level requirements of WCAG 2.0, where our experience shows that they are both valid and important to disabled users.
- Additional requirements: Surf Right requires the use or avoidance of some techniques where experience has proved that to do so would significantly improve accessibility. Currently these techniques (called Surf Right Best Practice requirements) aren’t specifically mentioned in WCAG 2.0 sufficient techniques or failures.
Image Alt text and accessibility
As standard we only use Alt text where an image conveys essential information for the meaning of the page – for example, a diagram about how to do something. Where an image is purely decorative, we don’t add alt text, as this is can be superfluous information, making it harder for someone using a screenreader to sift through the extra text and reach the key information on a page. Any images which don’t have alt text have an empty alt tag which is indicated using “”.
If you are interested, you can read on about the W3C and their international standards for web accessibility. Their frequently-asked questions are a good place to start.
For more details about Surf Right and RNIB’s work with web accessibility, get in touch with them at [email protected],
Any websites with accessibility issues can be reported to Fix the Web.