Ici Website Accredited For Disabled User Access

Monday, January 28, 2008

ICI undertook a major redesign and functional review of its corporate website, part of which was to provide access for disabled users. To ensure the new site was capable, it turned to the UK charity Shaw Trust to help.

The UK Disability Discrimination Act of 1999 makes it unlawful for a service provider to discriminate against a disabled person by not providing any service or access to any facility which it offers to the general public "" including websites. Since then all websites of UK organisations have been expected to make "reasonable adjustments"� to ensure their websites accommodate all users.

"Like other large organisations we needed to comply with the law and really wanted ensure that all users of the website had proper access to it,"� said Regina Kilfoyle , Director of Corporate Communications at ICI.

ICI's Corporate Communications team decided to go to an outside organisation and conduct proper testing run by disabled people to ensure the website met high standards of accessibility.The they decided to retain Shaw Trust, a national charity that provides training and work opportunities for people who are disadvantaged in the labour market due to disability, ill health or other social circumstances, and the largest voluntary sector provider of employment services for disabled people in the UK.

"Shaw Trust's Website Accessibility Accreditation Service combines a full technical audit with rigorous disability user testing,"� said Cam Nicholl of Shaw Trust.

Shaw Trust tester"Every member of our testing team is an experienced assistive technology user and understands the frustrations of not being able to access websites that don't consider the needs of disabled users. People with certain disabilities can find it difficult or even impossible to access, navigate, or read the content of a web page if the information isn't presented correctly. For instance,blind or visually impaired computer users often use screen-reader software which can speak the contents of a page with an electronic voice. An inaccessible web page may mean that the user will be unable to hear the contents and so it would be difficult, if not impossible, to make their way around the website."� she added. The ICI site was tested over a period of more than 60 hours by Shaw Trust staff who are experienced users of adaptive technology for access by people with: * No vision * Low vision * Colour blindness * Dyslexia * Hearing impairment * Mobility impairment * Learning difficulties Recommendations from the Shaw Trust testing were implemented across ICI's corporate site during quarter 3 2007 by ICI's web agency, Freestyle New Media, with a final review and accreditation from Shaw Trust granted in December 2007.

© Copyright Imperial Chemical Industries Limited, Registered in England n

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