BSI British Standards Invites Comments On New Draft Standard On Accessible Website

1 December 2008

BSI British Standards is inviting all interested parties, and in particular
marketing professionals and disabled web users, to review and comment on the
draft of a new standard on accessible websites. DPC BS 8878 Web
accessibility – Building accessible experiences for disabled people – Code
of Practice is applicable to all public and private organizations wishing to
offer accessible, usable websites to their customers.

DPC BS 8878 can be viewed at www.bsigroup.comdrafts until 31 January 2009.
All comments will be considered by the BSI technical committee responsible
for drafting the standard.

DPC BS 8878 has been designed to introduce accessibility, usability and user
experience for disabled people to non-technical professionals, some of whom
may be completely new to this subject. It gives guidance on process, rather
than on technical and design issues, including recommendations for:

involving disabled people in the development process and using automated
tools to assist with accessibility testing.
the management of the guidance and process for upholding existing
accessibility guidelines and specifications

Based on PAS 78: 2006, Guide to good practice in commissioning accessible
websites, DPC BS 8878 informs organizations of their legal responsibilities
in relation to web accessibility, calling on them to appoint a specific
person or department to oversee activity. Responsibility could fall within
the Marketing, PR or External Relations departments which typically look
after the organization’s website, or it could be Operations staff, Product
Managers, HR Managers or others who are responsible for internal web
applications.

The draft standard stresses the impact that an organizations’ choice of
technologies can have upon its audience and gives guidance on how to assess
this. It also includes guidance for considering the needs of web users
according to their specific disability, for example, people with physical
impairments or people with learning disabilities.

DPC BS 8878 also contains text which can be extracted and used in an
organization’s accessibility or procurement statement.

Julie Howell, Chair of the committee responsible for drafting DPC BS 8878,
commented, “Once published, this standard will be a fantastic tool for
organizations wishing to understand their responsibilities in enabling
disabled people to use web content. DPC BS 8878 encourages the enhancement
of the overall user experience – a much more holistic approach than we have
seen previously and one that I hope will yield exciting results. Right now
we want to encourage as many people as possible to read and comment on the
draft standard to ensure it is as relevant as possible.”

Publication of BS 8878 is expected in summer, 2009.

Notes to Editors

Media information:
Lucy Fulton
PR Officer, BSI British Standards
+44 (0)20 8996 7248 |
lucy.fulton@bsigroup.com

About BSI British Standards

BSI British Standards is the UK’s National Standards Body, recognized
globally for its independence, integrity and innovation in the production of
standards and information products that promote and share best practice. BSI
works with businesses, consumers and government to represent UK interests
and to make sure that British, European and international standards are
useful, relevant and authoritative. For further information please visit
www.bsigroup.com/britishstandards.

About BSI Group

BSI British Standards is part of BSI Group, a global independent business
services organization that inspires confidence and delivers assurance to
customers with standards-based solutions. Originating as the world’s first
national standards body, the Group has over 2,300 staff operating in over
120 countries through more than 50 global offices. The Group’s key offerings
are:

  • The development and sale of private, national and international
    standards and supporting information
  • Second and third-party management systems assessment and
    certification
  • Product testing and certification of services and products
  • Performance management software solutions
  • Training services in support of standards implementation and
    business best practice.

For further information please visit www.bsigroup.com.