Ashford Railway Station in Kent
You almost certainly know that new privacy laws around the world require all websites to comply with the GDPR. You probably already know that if you have a business website, it pays to make sure it has a secure sockets layer, or SSL, to keep you and your customers safe. But you might not realise that there are other compliance regulations that certain public sector websites need to meet. 
 
As of September 2020, all council websites must comply with WCAG 2.1 AA standards. This stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, which form part of guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative. The aim is to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities. 
 
Councils are required to make sure that all their websites are fully accessible for all users. At least one in five people in the UK has some kind of disability or impairment. This can include vision impairment, motor difficulties, or cognitive impairment. Designing websites that offer content that can be accessed by these people is a challenge, but one that certain websites are expected to meet. 
 
Meeting WCAG 2.1 AA standards is not just a matter of being more inclusive, it is also a legal requirement. So, it’s not one of those well-meaning ideas that you can put off for a less busy period. If you run a council website, then you need to be ready for when the deadline comes around in September. Don’t put it off until nearer the time when there will be a scramble to make the necessary changes — do it now and avoid all the last-minute pressure. 
 
Here at it’seeze, we have taken on that challenge and have designed and launched a number of WCAG-compliant websites for parish councils. These meet all the criteria and go above and beyond the GDPR and SSL safety measures, making sites accessible for all types of users. 
 
In addition, council websites present another series of challenges. They need to be easy to update. These sites are seen as of paramount importance to local communities, with many people using them as the ‘go to’ place for local information. So, website owners need to be able to make quick and easy updates to information as and when it is required. That’s why the sites we have designed for the four local councils are easy to use, with accessible features for people with impairments. 
 
You can look at the sites we have designed by visiting our portfolio. This is an area of web design that is increasingly in demand and we like to think of ourselves as being at the forefront of this new era of design. It’s something we’re very proud of. 
 
If you would like to find out more about our WCAG-compliant web design services, or to discuss your options with a member of our design team, get in touch. Our team can work with council websites, or any other organisation that needs to improve its WCAG compliance. We look forward to hearing from you. 
 
This article is brought to you from the desk of Nick Templeton, consultant for it'seeze Ashford, Kent.  
 
Nick has been working in the website industry for over 15 years. If you want to find out more about website compliancy for your project, feel free to contact us for more information. 
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