Access 8878: Web Accessibility - Code of Practice

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Making policy

A well thought-out policy can help your organisations focus their effort on important issues.

The benefits of a thoughtfully prepared policy include:

  • better use of resources
  • time savings
  • reduced time-scales
  • a fixed point of reference
  • a clear declaration of intent
  • can be included in product specification

BS 8878 requires the creation of two types of policy:

  1. Organizational policy that outlines your organizations commitment and approach to accessibility
  2. Product policy that focuses on the commitment and approach to each individual product

Organizational policy (clause 4.3)

The organizational policy will be used to inform internal and external teams about your organizational commitment to accessibility. It is more general and broader than the product policy which will be specific to the individual product.

The organizational policy will include references to other policies such as:

  • Web procurement (6.11)
  • Web technology (6.12)
  • Web standard compliance (e.g. WCAG 2.0) (6.13)
  • Degree of user-experience
  • Clause 4.3 Definition of an organizational web accessibility policy states:
  • (Can I reproduce content?)

Product accessibility policy (clause 4.5)

This policy needs to be well thought out, based on comprehensive research and as detailed as possible. The larger your organisation is (including contractors working on the product), the more detailed you'll want your product accessibility policy to be.

A comprehensive product accessibility policy will largely be based on the 16 steps (link int):

  • Product purpose (6.1)
  • Target audience (6.2)
  • Research based information on audience needs (6.3)
  • Choice of delivery platform and technologies (6.4)
  • Product-User relationship (e.g. use of cookies, login, membership and the ability to store user preferences) (6.5)
  • Key Goals and tasks (i.e. what does the product need to deliver) (6.6)
  • Degree of user-experience (i.e. how easy will the product be to use for user groups) (6.7)
    • Technically accessible
    • Usable
    • Enjoyable
  • Approach to inclusive design and user personalized approach (6.8)
    • Inclusive design BS 7000-6
    • User personalized approach
  • The delivery platforms that will be supported (6.9)
    • Computers, laptops and netbooks
    • Mobile devices
    • Games consoles
    • TV
  • Support for browsers, operating systems and assistive technologies (6.10)
  • Developing the product in-house or using a contractor (6.11)
  • Documentation of decisions to deploy certain technologies to deliver the product, particularly those that may not fully support accessibility, the reasons why, and alternatives that may be offered to users (6.12)
  • Documentation of how Web Guidelines (e.g. WCAG 2.0)should inform production decisions.
  • Documentation of the accessibility test plan
  • An ongoing register of accessibility risk (i.e. where the product may not meet accessibility goals during its life-cycle. It will document any decisions to down-grade accessibility and the rationale behind those decisions
  • The policy will be used a basis for the creation of a web accessibility statement for the product
  • The policy will include the date it was last updated, and contain any new information about the product such as post-launch updates and user feedback.

Access 8878 is the leading resource for BS 8878

Web Accessibility – Code of Practice Access 8878 is the leading resource for BS 8878 (this link will open in a new browser window)Cookies Policy