Accessibility 2.0: UK newspaper websites featured in study

Today, I was contacted by Laura Oliver who writes for Journalism.co.uk – a leading website for journalists.

Laura informed me that their site is launching a series of features and articles that will be published throughout this week on the accessibility of the UK’s main newspaper websites to blind and visually impaired users. They’ve conducted their own study and assessment of the country’s largest newspaper media websites with a team of volunteers.

An excerpt from the Journalism.co.uk first opening article which describes the background to the forthcoming features and findings on their study:

“In many cases, it seems, instead of liberating disabled people by providing greater access to news than ever before, the internet is proving as limiting a medium as the printed page.

Journalism.co.uk decided to conduct its own, first-hand assessment by asking members of the blind and visually impaired community to give us their views on the accessibility and ease of use of the websites of several leading UK newspaper websites.

The intention of the study was to evaluate what impact new media is having – positive and negative – on those with a keen interest in the news but an impairment that prevents them accessing it in a way millions of other Britons take for granted.”

Here’s a link to the opening articles of this series: Accessibility 2.0: How accessible are UK newspaper websites?

I’m really encouraged to see the rise in awareness and website accessibility finally being taken seriously in this country and gaining a higher profile (see my recent article linking to the Government Consultation on Accessible Websites). Assessments and studies such as this will hopefully help to make a real difference and create a wider understanding of the difficulties and barriers that people can face with not only general websites but also in accessing social media.

The non profit sector is being informed widely on how to be more accessible with websites through the work of Abilitynet, the ICT Hub and RNIB and other support organisations.

If larger bodies such as the government and major information suppliers on the net can conform too, along with all business sectors, it will be a big step forward in making the web a better and more inclusive place for all.