by Andrew Kirkpatrick
BS 8878:2010 is a new code of practice developed by the British Standards Institute (BSI) which describes a process to ensure that websites and online services provided by an organization are accessible to all web users including persons with disabilities. BS 8878:2010 will formally be launched on Tuesday, 7th December 2010.
BS 8878 is not intended to be a technical specification. Instead, it sets out a process and brings together and summarizes the information needed by organizations providing web services to understand how to embed accessibility requirements into their production processes at all stages. Additionally, BS 8878 also provides information on why accessibility should be an integral part of the planning and design process by listing out legislative, commercial and ethical reasons.
It also states that the ideal situation for assuring accessible experiences is that organizations produce web products that confirm to W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and associated standards.
We welcome this new code of practice and hope that this will provide a better understanding of the importance of accessibility to an organization providing web products. Most web accessibility standards are inherently technical in nature and are difficult to understand by non-technical members of an organization. BS 8878 fills this information gap.
We at Adobe are always striving to provide the best experiences for our users irrespective of their disability. At the same time, we are also trying to make it easier for web developers, designers and content authors to create accessible content and applications on the web using various Adobe tools.
- Adobe is an active participant in W3C’s Web Accessibility initiative (W3C-WAI) and made contributions to the development of the WCAG 2.0 standard.
- The Techniques for WCAG 2.0 document published by W3C now includes techniques for Flash content and helps define a way for authors to comply with WCAG 2.0.
- We are also working on a collection of PDF techniques, which we aim to have available in the next round of the techniques document update.
- The Adobe Accessibility web site contains several useful resources for authors, end users, and those getting started learning about accessibility.