Visually impaired users may find it difficult to navigate a website or fill out a form if they are unable to read or submit information. They require assistive technology to access web content and applications, usually in the form of a screen reader.
We have ensured our Postcode Lookup and Address Finder solutions are WAI-ARIA compliant, providing functionality to comply with assistive technology.
Without screen reader compatibility, visually impaired users will be unable to use any form of address validation. Furthermore, in some instances, they will also not be able to complete checkout or any sign up steps if your form is reliant on address verification.
Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) allows you to increase the accessibility of your web content and applications. This is particularly useful for user interface components where users with disabilities are required to interact with your system, such as an address form.
Screen Reader Benefits
By accommodating screen reader, you’ll go a long way in making your website more accessible to millions of people with a visual disability. Some benefits include:
- Reaching a wider audience
- Improving SEO
- Avoiding discrimination and legal complaints
- Improving customer satisfaction
- Gaining a competitive advantage
It is also the Law
There is a legal principle in the UK to provide equal accessibility for products or services. The Equality Act 2010. legally protects individuals from discrimination and promotes a fair workplace and wider society. The Equality Act requires website owners to actively provide an equal website experience to all their users. Failure to provide accessibility may lead to legal repercussions under the Equalities Act 2010.
The two key pieces of web accessibility legislation that organisations need to be familiar with are:
- The Equality Act (2010)
- The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations (2018)
Accessibility regulations came into force for public sector bodies on 23 September 2018. Public sector bodies include:
- Central government organisations
- Local government organisations
- Some charities
- Some non-government organisations
To comply with the law, companies and public sector bodies are required to assess and anticipate the needs of disabled customers and make reasonable adjustments to ensure their web content is accessible to people with disabilities. Public sector bodies are also required to include and update an accessibility statement on their website.
All public sector bodies should have become compliant with this law by September 2020. If they haven’t, they may be subject to legal action.
Screen reader compatibility is included in our Postcode Lookup and Address Finder script. You won't need to worry about any additional steps to implement this functionality.
View our documentation to get started with your integration.