Public Sector: Councils fail on web standards

More than three quarters of local government websites are not meeting the minimum disability standards criteria.

More than 300 council sites failed to match access standards set out by web consortium W3C's international guidelines and the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), in a survey of 467 sites carried out by Sitemorse.

'We want councils to realise how important access is to their users, who have a legal right to services,' said Sitemorse editorial consultant Graham Jarvis.

Sitemorse tests websites with an automated system that checks if they can be read by a screenreader, and assesses the number of technical errors. The DDA stipulates that all publicly funded websites must be compatible with a screenreader by the end of this year.

The best overall website in the survey was Aylesbury Vale District Council, closely followed by Thurrock Council.

Earlier this year, Sitemorse revealed that most central government websites did not conform to its disability standards, despite Whitehall's commitment to better web communications in February (PRWeek, 8 February).

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