Accessiblity Audit for a Parish Council
We have recently worked with a Parish Council. They had contacted us because Parish Councils fall under a Government Directive which requires them to achieve a certain level of accessibility, as a publicly-funded body. They had actually already paid for a website audit but had felt it was very poor value for money and was completely lacking in information.
There are different levels of audits that we do, each one involves a certain level of work and cost. After their initial enquiry, a quick look at the website told us straightaway that the build quality was so poor that paying for a detailed audit would not be necessary and we suggested they chose to have a basic audit instead. A basic accessibility audit consists of the automated metrics (which you can read about by following this link) followed by initial manual checks on the home page.
The issues with the website were as follows:
There were 5 Priority A errors but no Priority AA errors. If you have read our page about Priority AA (which you can read by following this link), you will be aware that we have discovered that may well-meaning web designers have followed the UK Government guidance to the letter and ensured that there were no Priority AA errors whilst not resolving the Priority A issues at the same time. The need to do this is clearly stated in the guidelines but unfortunately, it is too easy to overlook this if you lack sufficient knowledge of building accessible websites.
Other issues picked up by the automated metrics included:
- The font size was too small in places
- The page layout jumped about whilst loading, making it difficult to read
- Use of underlined text that was not a link (visitors would think it was a llink)
- Use of the C word (click here) instead of "follow this link"
- 12 coding errors
A manual appraisal of the Home page revealed the following issues:
- The website was built with code that was 10 years out of date. This was not going to be stable or fully accessible to any visitors, let alone ones with accessibility needs.
- There was not a secure connection to the website. This will seriously hamper its rankings with Google, which is an accessibility issue.
- The website is hosted in the United States, with no Locale settings. This will be a a significant issue for visitors using screen readers.
- There were no contact details on the Home Page. From an Accessibility point of view, being able to contact someone if they are unable to find out or understand the information they are seeking is very important.
- The navigation is inaccessible for keyboard-only visitors.
- The split-navigation design wasted a significant proportion of screen space, making the website more difficult to use with smaller monitors.
The client was very pleased with the amount of information they received and found it extremely helpful.
If you are interested in talking to us about having an accessibility audit of your website, please book yourself in for a free 15-minute consultation by following this link.