In an election where every vote counts, the political parties should take note and put web accessibility at the top of their digital agendas
A report by e-accessibility charity AbilityNet into the accessibility of the major political party websites published today has found that none of the websites comply with the minimum legal standard of accessibility.
This is the closest election for generations, but is also the most digital we have ever seen. AbilityNet conducted industry standard tests on all seven of the main party websites, including checking the code, disabled user testing and manual checks for best practise.
Tests found that all the party political sites are ‘difficult and frustrating’ for disabled people to use and none of the sites reached the minimum legal requirements.
Below are the sites ranked in order of ease of use for the disabled voters who tried to find out information on each party’s policies and contact them about disability issues:
Robin Christopherson, Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNet said:
“If web accessibility were to determine the outcome of the General Election on 7 May then the top 3 parties would be Labour, SNP and the Liberal Democrats – although none of the above meet minimum accessibility requirements so it’s questionable whether they deserve the disabled vote.
“What our tests have shown is that disabled people are being denied access to information that could help them make an informed choice.
“In an election where every vote counts, the political parties should take note and put web accessibility at the top of their digital agendas”
For more information please contact Catherine Grinyer, mobile: 07713248387 or email: email@example.com
Notes to editors
1.The AbilityNet eNation report: Election 2015: Political Parties Websites is available here: http://www.abilitynet.org.uk/advice-information/enation/elec...
2.AbilityNet’s web accessibility testers include people with a variety of impairments and limiting conditions, including sight loss, hearing loss and dyslexia. Some may use specialist software, such as screen readers, whilst others use standard equipment such as desktops computers, laptops, tablets or phones.
3.National charity, AbilityNet, has over 20 years’ experience enabling people with disabilities to access technology and the internet at home, at work and in education. Globally acclaimed for its expertise in workplace disability management as well as website accessibility issues, AbilityNet has clients in the private, public and voluntary sector including FTSE 100 companies and the websites of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics. The Charity’s Patron is Baroness Martha Lane-Fox of Soho, former UK Digital Champion.
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