Removing the barriers
The Highways Agency is committed and actively working to ensure that our website is usable and accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of disability, capability or technology.
Supported by accessibility guidelines and industry web standards, we have engaged with both external and internal disabled users of the website to better understand their needs.
What is accessibility?
Accessibility is about ensuring that all of our web pages deliver content and services to people both with and without disabilities. Accessibility can improve usability not just for those with visual and physical impairments but for people with limited movement, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations and photosensitivity.
What we have done to improve website accessibility
- We have recently commissioned an independent third party to carry out a detailed audit on a sample of our web pages to test for accessibility and usability. We are working to implement the recommendations that were made from the audit.
- We have commissioned a Laboratory User Experience with eight disabled users to test usability of the Highways Agency website, which was observed by the Highways Agency staff. The findings were reported and used to improve the website’s overall accessibility.
What we are doing to continue to improve website accessibility
To ensure accessibility and to optimise the Highways Agency website’s usability, during 2010 we will implement the following procedures:
- All PDF’s produced by the Highways Agency will be fully accessible by April 2011;
- All online content produced by our content management system will comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA in many cases;
- All corporate videos and audio will be accompanied by subtitles or a text alternative.
You can find out more about WCAG and W3C on their website.
Listen to this website with BrowseAloud
Visitors can listen to this website with BrowseAloud, which is free to website visitors and can be easily downloaded from the BrowseAloud Website. BrowseAloud makes websites accessible to those who require online reading support, which is 20% of the UK population. It works by reading web pages aloud in a human-sounding voice. If you have any questions about using BrowseAloud, you can visit their Frequently Asked Questions page.
If you have any difficulties using this site that you believe we could address, please let us know. It would be helpful if your query contained the following:
- The URL(s) (web-address) of the page(s) that you are having difficulties with
- The nature of your disability
- A description of the problem area
If you have a solution to suggest, please feel free to do so. To enable us to continually improve our website we welcome any questions, feedback or suggestions regarding the accessibility. If you have difficulty using any part of it, please contact us: Web Team,Highways Agency, Lateral Building, City Walk, Leeds, LS11 9AT or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that Traffic England is a contracted service. The Highways Agency are not responsible for the accessibility testing of pages falling within http://www.trafficengland.com/. We will forward any queries regarding accessibility on these pages to the webmaster of Traffic England.
Further guidance and help
For information on how to optimise your own experience as a user of our website, see:
- Online accessibility help on the BBC’s My web My way website
- Adobe’s accessibility guide Adobe Acrobat and accessibility
Glossary of conformance
The minimum standards of accessibility that the Highways Agency must conform to are Level Double-A of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. We are also taking steps to ensure that our online content complies with world best practice web and accessibility guidelines and standards which are referenced below.
- UK Government web standards and guidelines
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
- World Wide Web Consortium
- Extensible HyperText Markup Language (XHTML) specification1.0
- Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) — specification 2.1