At Rochem our aim is to make our websites as accessible as possible to the widest range of visitors and customers. At the centre of everything we do is the act of communication so communicating as effectively as possible is paramount for us.
This means considering the specific needs of those with visual or physical impairments, learning difficulties and other forms of disability. In addition it means having an understanding of different browser technologies. We produce our sites to meet current best practices and guidelines.
The benefits of this approach:
- Sites are available to as wide an audience as possible and across a variety of technologies. They will also be accessible to future devices.
- Sites meet guidelines for those users who may have impairments and difficulties using the web.
- Sites load quicker and use less bandwidth. This creates savings in hosting costs that we pass on to our customers.
- Search engines love your site. In the past layouts and graphics added lots of extra code to Web Pages that could often confuse search engines and cause them to incorrectly list sites or in some cases ignore them completely. We design our sites to XHTML/CSS standards which means that when search engines look at your site they see structured and coherent content which allows the correct indexing of your site.
- Standards based sites separate design from content using guidelines to define the structure of these two elements. This means in the future any further development to your site will be easy to manage.
How do we do it?
We follow what are known as 'Web Standards'. In the past many web browsers were released that did not follow a common standard for interpreting web pages; they focused on their own propriety code. The result was that we had to sometimes make several different versions of one site for all the various browsers and there would often be inconsistencies across these sites.
In recent years the makers of web browsers have adopted and brought in support for an open set of standards. These standards are laid down by the W3C, a not for profit organisation, that oversees the development of the web.
Caught by the fuzz!
All web sites that are owned by UK businesses need to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act - The DDA. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 - was introduced with the intention of comprehensively tackling the discrimination which many disabled people face. The part of the DDA that states web sites must be made accessible came into force on 1 October 1999 and the Code of Practice for this section of the Act was published on 27 May 2002. If you are a business with an online presence it is important that you are aware of this act.
Royal National Institute of the Blind
Web Accessibility and UK Law