Whitepaper: Website Accessibility

The Ticketsolve Guide focuses on the topic of website accessibility and has been written in collaboration with technology accessibility consultant Catherine Turner.

Keeping accessibility at the forefront

The purpose of this whitepaper by accessibility advisor Catherine Turner is to provide recommendations on promoting website accessibility, which is important but increasingly complex. There are varying meanings of ‘accessibility’ but it essentially refers to removing barriers for people with disabilities. Small steps can lead to progress through embedding accessibility in objectives and culture.

Untangling the Knots

Website accessibility endeavours to ensure that there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites on the World Wide Web by people with physical disabilities, situational disabilities, and socio-economic restrictions on bandwidth and speed.

The core meaning of accessibility is ensuring that people with disabilities can access websites without barriers. But there are other related meanings like easy website use, easy-to-find information through various channels, digestible information, and compatibility with assistive technologies. These meanings should align rather than conflict within an organisation.

Getting Started

Small steps towards accessibility can accumulate into progress. Accessibility should become embedded in objectives and organisational culture rather than a one-time fix. Tools can help but have limitations, especially for smaller organisations. This guide should bolster your existing efforts – rather than adding any additional pressure. 

Alt Text

Alt text provides an alternative way to communicate the purpose of images. It should enhance overall messaging whether providing images, acting as a call to action, or conveying key information. Ensure that your images are not creating unnecessary barriers.

Video Content

Videos should ideally mix visual and verbal content to be accessible. Providing comprehensive audio description and sign language depends on context and budget. Other methods to engage those who can’t access video should be considered, like written descriptions. Video platforms and playback controls must also be accessible.

Human Touch

Despite increased use of digital tools like bots, human support remains essential for some assisted tech users. An accessibility pledge highlights a commitment to these audience members. This could include direct enquiry channels and ticket holds for access bookers during busy onsales.

Understanding your requirements

UK/Irish law requires public entities to meet AA accessibility standards which ensure readable, traversable content with alt text and zoom/font size support. Ticketsolve aims for AA compliance in all future developments as an iterative process rather than a finish line. Recent features ensure AA compliance throughout the booking journey.

Accessibility Resources

Catherine Turner is a trustee for Colchester Arts Centre, a technology accessibility advisor and an enthusiastic patron of many art forms. She’s also a disabled person with a love of swimming and a hatred of bananas.

Catherine has been the lead consultant for Ticketsolve on a web accessibility project and has supported our system in achieving our goal of reaching the benchmarking required of WCAG 2.1/ AA compliance. 

Discover More

Thank you to Catherine Turner for her collaboration in devising this guide, sharing her experiences and for her guidance.
You can hear more about the accessible design project Catherine consulted on with Ticketsolve in episode 10 of The Arts & Everything in Between Podcast.