Leading web design and build company Fortune Cookie has been invited to join a Steering Group which will help develop a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) for accessible web design.

The specification, known as ‘PAS 78: Guide to good practice in designing accessible websites’, will remind and inform website commissioners and developers of their obligations to ensuring online access to disabled users. The specification will also provide advice and guidelines on how to implement good practice in this area. Whilst a PAS is not a full British Standard, it is developed using the same rigorous processes.

The document will describe the accessibility standards that websites should conform to. It will also tackle many of the myths and confusions surrounding web accessibility. For example: the role of automated tools, how to validate web code, quality assurance and benchmarking, and how and when to involve disabled people in the design lifecycle.

Fortune Cookie Managing Director, Justin Cooke, said "This appointment stands as a resounding endorsement of our team’s abilities and principles. Fortune Cookie is committed to designing dynamic and engaging websites that are accessible to all. We are delighted to be working closely with the DRC and BSI to help them develop and present accessible web standards in a clear and practical way. We firmly believe that all web developers have a social, as well as a legal, obligation to inclusive design.”

The PAS will be released in the Autumn 2005 and is expected to be updated every two years.

Fortune Cookie integrated its accessibility methodology into its user-centred design process in September 2002. The agency offers a comprehensive range of accessibility and usability related services including site audits, automated and representative user testing, the provision of guidelines and training to maintain accessibility, accreditation support and corporate accessibility programmes encompassing strategy, policy, standards and education. The Fortune Cookie team has designed more websites to have secured the RNIB See it Right Mark than any other company in the UK. They were also the first in the UK to achieve the mark for their own site and have been working closely with the RNIB for several years to develop their own standards and promote industry best practice. The company now intends to become the first web company to incorporate the BSI Standard 7000-6:2005 for Inclusive Design into its process. Fortune Cookie has worked with many high profile clients in this field including Legal & General, Financial Times, Europcar, Huntswood, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, One Railway and the London Borough of Lambeth.

More information below

Published on: 12:00AM on 22nd April 2005