Web accessibility is about making your web site accessible to the widest possible audience. Because of the lobbying of organisations such as the RNIB, many people associate web accessibility with the visually impaired. However, web accessibility is much broader than that. It is also about providing access for those with motor impairments, learning difficulties and other forms of disability. It is also about making your web site accessible to all, irrespective of what browser technology they are using to access your site or the speed of their Internet connection.
In practice, web accessibility is primarily (although not exclusively) defined by a checklist set out by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The W3C is a governing body for the web that sets standards for technical development. One set of standards is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) produced as an output of the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
The WCAG defines three levels of accessibility, each progressively more demanding. The most basic level of accessibility is Priority 1 (level A compliance) followed by Priority 2 and 3 (levels AA and AAA).
It is our aim that this site achieves WAI level A (or level 1) accessibility compliance.
Given the extensive use of maps on this site we propose an approach that complies as far as is reasonably practicable with Level A.
In practical terms, some of the key implications of the above approach are as follows.