These high-level principles from Craig Abbott and Colin at DWP Digital encapsulate how we should consider accessibility needs when designing services in DfE.
DESIGN for Accessibility is a more detailed set of principles and guidelines that teams should work with when designing and building services in DfE.
For more information, talk to the accessibility team or see guidance on the Digital Accessibility Hub in SharePoint.
1. Inclusion is better than empathy
It’s good to understand how other people might feel, but don’t assume you know their needs. 1 in 3 show unconscious bias towards people who have a disability. Include a diverse group of people and be collaborative when designing services.
2. Accessible design is good design
Good design meets needs and solves problems. If you design something which is inaccessible you create barriers. Good design is not just what looks good, it must work for everyone regardless of what tools they use or what impairments they have.
3. Start with what works
Start simple and only add complexity if it is needed. Use what is already available and re-use what others have already proven to work. The more things you design from scratch, the more work you need to do to make sure they’re accessible.
4. If it’s not accessible, it’s not done
Do not consider something finished until you are sure it is accessible. Accessibility is not a choice, it is law. It is always a priority, and if you neglect it you will create more work for yourself later.
5. This is ‘still for everyone’*
Everything we design should be as inclusive, readable and usable as possible. We are still building for the needs of everyone. We provide services for some of the most vulnerable people in society, not just people who are using the web.
’* From the book, Accessibility for Everyone by Laura Kalbag