The British Standards Institution (BSI) has developed a standard to address web accessibility to help businesses and organisations comply with equal access laws.
The first British Standard, the BS 8878 Web Accessibility Code of Practice, provides information on digital inclusion and how to make websites accessible for disabled and older users.
Mike Low, BSI's director of standards, said too many people are excluded from participating in the huge benefits that the digital age promises. "We are pleased therefore that BS 8878 is central to... making public and private sector websites more accessible," he said.
"BS 8878 provides guidance on how to remove barriers to inclusion and highlights a simple truth: if accessibility is built-in, it's a win-win for site owners and users.
"The standard's publication is especially timely given that the new Equality Act 2010 places an obligation on information providers to ensure their web products are accessible. Both the public and private sector will benefit from this new standard", added Low.
The Fix the Web campaign is also encouraging volunteers to report websites with accessibility problems. So far, 86 people have reported 203 inaccessible websites.
Sites with reported issues include Doodle, the BBC news site regarding text re-sizing and untagged images, The Keep Britain Tidy site and National Rail, which had inaccessible links and unlabelled images in its route planner.
Fix the Web claims 80% of websites are failing to meet minimum accessibility criteria with typical problems including images with no captions or "alt" text, 'hard-coded' text preventing modification, the use of distracting animations and sites depending exclusively on mouse use.