Web Accessibility Statements- are they required?

Web accessibility statements are common place in websites these days. However, are they really required? Shouldn't the accessibility of the page speak for itself? I would certainly be interested to hear what people think about this topic.

Nomensa, (http://www.nomensa.com) state that there are two basic functions of the Accessibility Statement :

"Firstly, it presents clear information about the target level of web accessibility for the website and the methods used to achieve those targets. It also enables the website owner to acknowledge any areas of the website where accessibility targets have not been met and to outline the proposed plan for resolving any such problem.

Secondly, an accessibility statement is a powerful declaration of commitment. People visiting the website, particularly those with disabilities, will appreciate the open acknowledgement that accessibility is a key driver for the website. A word of caution however, an accessibility statement that makes rash or false claims will only damage the reputation of the website, not enhance it!"

In my experience, Accessibility Statements are often technically complex, and are jam packed with technical jargon- which makes it difficult for average users to understand. This can exclude their use (or purpose?) for average users. Perhaps we need to understand who actually reads the statements, and focus the content accordingly? Are they written with the users or developers in mind? Or both?

Another common question is what we should include in our accessibility statements? Well, in essence there are no hard and set rules. However, Juicy Studio and Nomensa have both written great articles about what makes a good accessibility statement. Please find the hyperlinks to these articles below.


To me, the most important uses of Accessibility Statements are to a) show your personal or corporate commitment to accessibility and b) to provide contact details for feedback. Is it really necessary to include the technical techniques and methods used to achieve accessibility goals?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts!

Visit me at : http://www.simplicityuserexperience.co.uk/

Posted byCharlie M at 05:06  


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