Shaw Trust Accessibility Services – Accessibility Partnership

Shaw Trust's website

Brief

Having visited the Shaw Trust Accessibility Services’ premises down in South Wales, we were adamant that we wanted to start creating bespoke, customisable and, importantly, fully accessible websites. We spoke to Shaw Trust AS about the development of a product that would incorporate both of our expertise into one service.

Approach

Having consulted Shaw Trust AS, we decided to work collaboratively in creating a product that corporate, public sector or third sector organisations would all benefit from and be able to take advantage of. This product development stage highlighted a number of critical features and incorporated Shaw Trust AS’ accessibility testing services and our web development support.

Outcome

Working collaboratively over a number of months, we were able to develop a product that was an in-depth end-to-end solution for any organisation who wants their website to be accessible and conform to all of the necessary rules and regulations regarding the accessibility of digital services.

HeX Productions and Shaw Trust Accessibility Services join forces to creat an end-to-end accessibility services, incorporating user testing, design, development, training and consultancy. All in one.

HeX Productions initially got involved with the Shaw Trust Accessibility Services when the team of accessibility assessors were analysing a website that we had created. We were invited by the Shaw Trust AS to visit them to take a look and see what an inaccessible website looked at and how to develop accessibly. 

Having increased our knowledge of accessibility, we were determined that we wanted to offer accessible websites as a standard for all of our clients. Having a disability is not optional, so accessibility on a website should not be optional either. In the process of developing our knowledge and skill set, we kept in touch with the Shaw Trust AS and continued to recommend them for accessibility testing. Which is when we realised there was an opportunity. 

We both knew that many organisations were not aware of their current accessibility provisions and how they related to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines that are set out by the World Wide Web Consortium. This was Shaw Trust AS’ product; they would test organisations’ website and then give them a report, and let them implement the changes, if they wanted an accessibility accreditation off of the Shaw Trust, they would have to undergo another test to ensure the changed had been made.

While we were able to offer organisations the ability to build a bespoke and accessible website, we did not have the capacity to hire a team of disabled user testers that would be able to do this effectively. It was through conversations that we realised we had products that would benefit each other. Rather than recommend our services, we wanted to create a closer business relationship that would be a seamless end-to-end service. 

After many months of discussions, it was decided that Shaw Trust AS and HeX would enter into a partnership agreement, and develop the end-to-end product that clients needed. Through collaborative meetings and discussions, we finally came up with the ultimate package for businesses: 

  1. Define – you define the areas of the site that you want accessibility assessors to test, whether this is the full website or particular user journeys.
  2. Test – Shaw Trust Accessibility Services’ disabled user testers go through the website/user journeys and highlight any accessibility issues. 
  3. Deliver – we deliver a report to you so that you can see exactly what is wrong and how to make the necessary changes
  4. Develop – HeX Productions offer development support, partial or full, to ensure that the changes are made. 
  5. Accredit – once development work is complete and the website is accessible, you will adhere to AA accessibility rating and be awarded a Shaw Trust accreditation. 

This was entirely focused on the customer journey, allowing customers to pay one price and get an accreditation, dealing with one account manager, despite the interaction of two different organisations. At the moment, it’s one of the UK’s first end-to-end accessibility solution that involves both real-life disabled testers and experienced web developers and project managers. 

In a world where disabled rights have become a necessity, this all-in accessibility package is a welcome break to organisations who are used to dealing with multiple agencies and firms to become accessible. Recently, the Home Office has published a new law, the Public Sector Web Accessibility Regulations, which requires all public sector bodies to be accessible by 2020, this law is likely to pave the way for digital accessibility. 

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