Global Accessibility Awareness Day - Are You Inclusive?

By Shaun Gomm | 19/05/2016

According to the Office for National Statistics, there are over 10 million disabled people in the UK, representing around 15% of the population, and approximately 2 million of those people have visual impairments. Accessing digital products and services, whether that is booking a holiday or buying groceries, banking online or using vital public services, is a right that should be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of disability or assistive technology needs. Indeed, recently announced European legislation mandates that public sector websites and apps are fully accessible by 2018, and this directive will become law in each of the European member states by that time. It is therefore imperative that public sector organisations, and as this becomes standard practice, for companies and commercial entities too, to provide fully accessible websites, apps, digital products and services that meet the needs of everyone in our society.  

Sigma has particular expertise in designing inclusive, accessible digital products and services spanning almost 10 years of practice in this area. Our approach is grounded in working with and understanding people with a diverse range of disabilities, visual impairments, learning difficulties and assistive technology needs.

For many of our peers, accessibility is an afterthought, but at Sigma we design inclusive digital products from the outset. We design to WCAG accessibility standards as a matter of course, and we undertake rigorous testing to ensure the sites and applications we build are fully accessible to AA level routinely, or to AAA standard where required.  We also evaluate existing digital products and advise our clients on inclusive design and accessibility approaches so they can embed those practices within their teams. Specifically, our services include:

  • Advising on what inclusive design means, what the standards entail and the options are, and determining how they can be most effectively and appropriately applied to our customers’ products and teams

  • Auditing websites, apps or digital services to assess whether they meet the standards, and recommending areas of improvement

  • Supporting our customers’ design and development teams to embed inclusive design practices and standards into their approach

  • Undertaking usability and accessibility testing of sites and apps with real users who have a range of impairments or disabilities, to ensure those products meet their needs and conform to the required standards

If you’d like to know more please contact hello@wearesigma.com or call us on 01625 427718.