Web Accessibility Policy
Pia is the UK's leading independent accessible media
company, transcribing print communications into accessible formats for people
with visual or print impairment. We
specialise in providing braille, large print, audio and e-text, but also supply
other accessible formats such as; specific print formats for people with
dyslexia, and through our range of partners, language translation, BSL and easy
read, which is aimed at people with a learning disability.
Pia currently produces accessible formats for Government departments, utility
companies, examination boards and financial organisations. The company was
established in 1985 and has been providing accessible communications since
1990. We're proud to have retained our
Investor in People status since 2004 and to be Cyber Essentials Plus accredited.
We're a founding board member of the UK Association for Accessible Formats
(UKAAF) and are helping to drive the move to introduce industry standards for
the transcription of accessible formats in the UK.
It is Pia's policy to make sure that its online
information and services are available to all regardless of disability.
All documents placed on the website for download should
be in a non-proprietary format and must be structured and tagged appropriately
to allow a meaningful reading order in screen reading software. All non-textual
information must be given a text equivalent.
3 What is web accessibility
Web accessibility is defined as the ease with which a
person can use a website. People with a disability are presented with potential
barriers to that access. It is Pia's policy to provide as high a level of
accessibility as is reasonably possible (recognising that universal
accessibility is extremely difficult to achieve). In order to remove potential
barriers we need to know what they are likely to be.
3.1 Target audience
The Target audience for Pia is anyone looking for
materials in accessible formats. It will, by definition, include people with
one or more types of disability.
Recent disability figures for the UK suggest that there
• over 11 million people with one form of disability or
• of these over 2 million have a visual impairment;
• eight million people suffer from some form of hearing
• over 2 million people have a form of memory, concentration
or learning difficulty;
• over seven million people have literacy problems;
• approximately one third of the population suffer from
some form of colour blindness.
Different types of disability present their own
accessibility problems and we need to be aware of these in order to minimise
3.2 Visual impairment
The Internet is primarily a visual medium but for some
people this presents problems. All information needs to be presented in a way
that can be accessed by text-to-speech software such as screen-readers or by
refreshable braille displays. All non-textual information, such as images,
needs textual equivalents.
Many people suffer from one of the many types of colour
deficiency in their vision. Colour differentiation between text and background
needs to be sufficiently high. Colour alone must not be used to convey
Text must be resizable to allow those with limited vision
to be able to clearly read it.
Flashing or flickering imagery can induce epilepsy in
some people and must be avoided.
3.3 Motor impairment
Some people have difficulty using devices that require
fine motor control such as traditional mice. All tasks must be able to be
carried out using a keyboard and alternative input devices as well as by a
mouse. Keyboard shortcuts should be built in appropriately for key sections of
Tasks must not be time-limited.
3.4 Hearing impairment
Video and audio must be accompanied by a text transcript
and/or real time captioning.
3.5 Cognitive or learning disability
Information must be presented simply and in appropriate
Care must be given to colour schemes that may help
alleviate problems associated with dyslexia. Provision of text-to-speech across
the site can also help those who have difficulties reading written text.
People at the older end of the age-range can experience
problems similar to those experienced by people with mild forms of previously
mentioned disabilities. These include (but are not limited to):
Confusion when inconsistency in site structure and
presentation is encountered
Confusion when new things are encountered
Problems with fine motor skills and hand-eye
Rural areas can suffer from low connection speeds to the
Internet. As websites become more feature-rich, for example, using increased
client-side scripting and embedded videos, this can make accessing sites a
painfully slow experience. Until such time as everyone has a connection that
can handle these features it is necessary to allow people to load text-only
pages and for multimedia resources to not start automatically. Page sizes
should be kept as small as possible to minimise download times.