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An enquiry into the acceptance of accessible web content and web design standards by UK small businesses.


Here are some of the Appendices. I have not published all the documents as not all are nescessary to understand the project and were included just to meet submission requirements. If you would like access to the extra appendices, please contact me directly.

Glossary of Terms

AA / Priority 2
A level of conformance within the W3C’s WCAG guidelines. A / Priority 1 is the lowest form of conformity, AA / Priority is the middle level (and considered the most achievable, AAA / Priority 3 is the top level and it is debated whether this can be truly achieved on many if any sites.
Accessibility (Web Accessibility)
The ability for a person to access a website using the tools available to them. It is the provisions set out and removal of obstacles by a designer to allow any person access the content. Use of contrasting colours and providing images with “alternative text” are examples of ways of improving accessibility.
A term used to describe the luminaries of the web design industry. Also to do with the name of the main industry journal, A List Apart, to which many of these designers contribute. A-Listers tend to be proactive in support of accessibility and standards, and many are published authors.
A List Apart
(see A-List/A-Lister)
Best Practice
A term used to refer to the adherence to web standards and accessible design as normal practice.
(see WebXact)
A group of UK based web designers who all have an interest in ‘good practice’ design. The group contains many A-Listers and published authors. They rarely speak as a body however they are generally vocal individuals on access and similar industry topics.
Cascading Style Sheets. A method of applying styling to an HTML or XHTML document by referencing various ‘elements’ (for example a heading or a paragraph) within the code. They are key to the concept of the separation of presentation from content. CSS specifications are set by the W3C. ‘Valid’ or ‘Strict’ CSS is achieved by adhering to all the points of the specification.
The Disability Rights Commission. The overseer of UK law and provision with regard to accessibility.
A term used to describe a person who is a vocal and strong advocate of standards of web accessibility. Their code is often clinical and they often contribute to debates on access and can be very critical of people who refuse to conform.
Guild of Accessible Web Designers.
Group Lead
(see WaSP)
Hyper Text Mark-up Language. The base code for inserting and marking content in web pages. There have been a number of version of HTML, the current being 4.01 and the standard is set by the W3C. In order to make your code ‘valid’ or ‘strict’ you must meet all points of the corresponding W3C specification. XHTML or eXtensible HTML is another, newer specification from the W3C, but very much based on the HTML structure.
Machine Readability
(see Semantic Mark-up)
New Media
A term used to define web design/development, referring mainly to the relatively ‘new’ nature of the tools and methods used compared to traditional design mediums.
PAS 78
Publicly Available Specification 78. A document published by the British Standards Institute and endorsed by the DRC in 2006 detailing a suggested method for commissioning websites for use by UK businesses.
Semantic Mark-up
Any code used for a web document that uses well defined structures to indicate the pretext of any content. For example, an ordered list would be defined using code specifically for defining an ordered list rather than a series of paragraphs with numbers written inside. The sample applies to headings and sub headings to mechanically separate them from the main body of text. Semantic mark-up is machine readable, and so can be interpreted more easily by search engines and devices to assist the disabled.
(see Evangelist)
(see Web Standards)
Strict CSS
(see CSS)
Strict HTML
(see HTML)
Strict XHTML
(see HTML)
U.S. Section 508
United States of America federal requirements for websites, but often used by large US companies as a guide to providing accessible websites.
Valid Code
(See HTML)
Valid CSS
(see CSS)
The World Wide Web Consortium. The web’s guiding body in charge of worldwide standards.
The Web Accessibility Initiative. A W3C organisation set up to promote accessible web practices and define guidelines for good accessible content.
The Web Standards Project. An international organisation set up to promote standards of accessibility on the web. The organisation is led by a Group Lead.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Set by the W3C’s WAI the WCAG are a standard set of priority checkpoints that can be used to assess the accessibility of a HTML or XHTML document.
Web Standards
A set of specifications defining how to provide correct code for use on the web. XHTML and CSS standards are examples. Other standards include accessibility standards which are also set by the W3C. They are a specification of semantics and aesthetic layout to increase machine readability.
Website Commissioner
The person who commissions, and therefore is legally responsible for, an organisation website.
An example of a well known automated method of measuring website accessibility against WCAG standards.
(see HTML)

Expert Survey: The Four Questions Posed To The Designers

These questions were sent via email.

Biographies & Qualification of Designers

These are the short list of qualifications of the designers who responded to the survey for this study.

Ian Lloyd
UK member of WaSP Accessibility Task Force and designer/developer for Nationwide Building Society's internet/intranet services. Founder of, accessibility solutions site. Author of Build
Your Own Web Site the Right Way Using HTML and CSS, SitePoint Pty Ltd, 2006.
Gez Lemon
UK member of WaSP Accessibility Task Force, owner of Juicy Studio and developer with GemCreative.
John Oxton
Co-author of Blog Design Solutions, APress US, 2006, Founder of web standards tutorial website & freelance web designer.
Bruce Lawson
UK member of WaSP Accessibility Task Force & author of Usability: The Site Speaks for Itself, Peer Information, 2002. Review panel for PAS 78.

Screenshots of the Questionnaire for SMEs

Questionnaire Page Questionnaire PageQuestionnaire PageQuestionnaire PageQuestionnaire PageQuestionnaire PageQuestionnaire PageQuestionnaire PageQuestionnaire Page

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