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Accessibility

1. Introduction

Manchester Action on Street Health is committed to ensuring that its websites are accessible to everyone. People access the web in many different ways and Manchester Action on Street Health promotes inclusion for all, regardless of disability, capability or technology.

2. Policy Intent

The intention of this policy is to provide clear accessibility principles that all Manchester Action on Street Health organisational websites are required to follow. For the purpose of this policy, the term “website” includes:

  • the Manchester Action on Street Health website (www.mash.org.uk)
  • all intranets
  • all microsites produced after the implementation date of this policy.

3. Policy Principles

The principles of this policy form a set of requirements that all Manchester Action on Street Health websites are expected to follow. The principles should be fulfilled according to the policy timetable.

  1. Websites should conform to the accessibility targets laid out in Delivering Inclusive Websites from the Central Office of Information ;
  2. In doing so, websites should conform to level Double-A of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 ;
  3. If the guidance from the Central Office of Information should be revised, Principle I of this policy updates automatically and Principle II will be updated accordingly.

4. Policy Timetable

The website contains a large volume of content.

  • All new online content will comply with online accessibility standards.
  • All reasonable efforts will be taken to ensure that legacy content – i.e. that which was migrated from the old www.mash.org.uk website in October 2012 – complies with accessibility standards – priority will be given to improving key documents and popular (highly visited) sections of the website.

5. Online content formats

The core of the www.mash.org.uk is published as extensible hypertext markup language (HTML5) files that use cascading style sheets (CSS). It is to this type of content that the WCAG guidelines directly apply.

6. Exceptions

The Manchester Action on Street Health website also carries online content that is not provided in HTML5. Where non-HTML5 formats are used:

  • files will be created in accordance with the accessible authoring techniques available for these formats
  • all reasonable efforts will be taken to provide alternative accessible versions
  • contact details will be provided for the supply of alternative non-web formats

Situations where online content may be provided in non-HTML5 formats include:

6.1 Content with technical restrictions or legal requirements

Manchester Action on Street Health is required to publish content on its website to meet legislative requirements, for example documents relating to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. Often the source material for this content is only available in hardcopy or must be presented in a format that retains the layout or formatting integrity of the original documents.

6.2 Rich media formats

Manchester Action on Street Health may occasionally publish content in non-HTML5 rich-media formats, such as embedded YouTube videos. Where such content cannot be made accessible, every reasonable effort will be made to provide an accessible alternative version. In the case of YouTube videos, for example, a plain text transcript of each video will be available from both the YouTube page and from the accessibility section of the Manchester Action on Street Health website.

6.3 User-generated (third party) content

Manchester Action on Street Health is required to publish content on its website that is created by third parties, for example public submissions to consultations. This content is sometimes available only as hardcopy or in inaccessible formats. Manchester Action on Street Health will ensure that user generated content is as accessible as possible by:

  • encouraging third-party authors to follow good accessibility practices when submitting content
  • taking all reasonable steps to convert submitted content into accessible formats that do not compromise the integrity or meaning of the content

6.4 Time-critical content

Manchester Action on Street Health is often required to publish content on its website at a particular time or date. As a temporary measure, an inaccessible version of time-critical content may be published to meet deadlines. Manchester Action on Street Health will then publish an accessible version of the same content as soon as it is reasonably possible to do so.

6.5 Online versions of hardcopy publications

Online versions of hardcopy publications are published on the Manchester Action on Street Health website as HTML5, Word (DOC) or Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

Every reasonable effort is taken to make PDF files accessible. Guidance on creating accessible PDF documents, in accordance with Adobe accessible authoring techniques, has been drawn up and circulated to web publishers. The guidance is also sent to third-party contractors involved in the design and creation of Manchester Action on Street Health publications.

Some PDF files may still not be fully accessible, such as: scanned and older PDF files and those containing complex statistical and data tables.

Every reasonable effort is taken to ensure that file sizes are as small as possible. Large documents may need to be published in several smaller sections.

7. Conformance with web and online accessibility standards

Online content on the Manchester Action on Street Health website will conform to best practice web and accessibility standards and guidelines published by the:

  • Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
  • United Kingdom Government Central Office of Information (COI)
  • creators of propriety software (e.g. Adobe)

In particular, Manchester Action on Street Health will take all reasonable steps to ensure that its online content complies with:

8. Checking conformance with web and online accessibility standards

Conformance checking against W3C/WAI and COI guidelines and specifications will be carried out regularly by Manchester Action on Street Health or third-party accessibility specialists, using appropriate combinations of the following techniques and tools:

  • automated testing and validation (WCAG, HTML5, CSS)
  • manual checks
  • assistive technology tool testing
  • user testing with people from a range of disabilities, preferences and ages
  • expert reviews and conformance inspections of representative samples of web pages

9. Accessibility testing timetable

Manchester Action on Street Health will run an in-house accessibility check each quarter; and a third-party accessibility audit each year.

Before the launch of the redesigned www.mash.org.uk website in October 2012, accessibility audits were performed:

  • on the information architecture
  • on the page template creative designs
  • on the wireframes
  • on the site itself immediately prior to launch

Testing on any new site is likely to follow a similar pattern.

10. Accessibility user testing profiles

Disabilities to be considered during the development and redevelopment of content on the Manchester Action on Street Health website may include a mixture of mild, moderate and severe:

  • vision impairment
  • mobility problems
  • cognitive and learning problems
  • hearing loss

Consideration will also be given to other users who will benefit from improved online accessibility, including:

  • people with slow internet connections
  • people with low bandwidth quotas
  • people using hand-held mobile internet-enabled devices
  • people with English as a second language
  • people from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds
  • older people

11. Accessibility user testing techniques and technologies

A combination of techniques and adaptive technologies that disabled users may employ will be tested, including:

  • screen reader and text-to-speech software
  • screen magnification software
  • speech recognition software
  • keyboard only operation
  • adaptive hardware and input devices
  • switch access and on-screen keyboards
  • changing website colours and contrast
  • changing text size and formatting

Accessibility across different operating systems (e.g. Mac, Windows, Linux ), internet-enabled hardware (e.g. desktop computers, notebooks, mobile phones) and web browsers (e.g. Firefox, Internet Explorer) will also be tested.

12. Accessibility user testing tasks

Accessibility user testing will involve completing core tasks that users should be able to achieve on the Manchester Action on Street Health website. These may include:

  • finding out how to contact Manchester Action on Street Health via email, phone, mail or in person
  • finding a ministerial speech or press release
  • finding a popular piece of information
  • ordering a particular hardcopy publication
  • downloading a particular publication
  • using the search facility

The criteria for determining the success of accessibility user testing of the Manchester Action on Street Health website include:

  • effectiveness
    • how often can users complete each task? (task completion rate)
    • how well can users complete each task? (degree of completion, error rates)
  • efficiency
    • how much effort does it take to complete each task? (number of keystrokes or clicks, time taken, pauses)
  • satisfaction
    • what is an appropriate experience?
    • does the experience fit with Manchester Action on Street Health brand values?
    • perceived efficiency
    • perceived effectiveness

13. Contacts

For further information about the Manchester Action on Street Health website accessibility policy, contact:

Manchester Action on Street Health
94-96 Fairfield St
Manchester
M1 2WR

Telephone: 0800 183 0499

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