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Introduction - why the BBC supports accessibility
BBC's support for web accessibility
The world-wide web can be a great enabler and source of freedom and ability for disabled audiences, giving them the resources to better contribute to society and the BBC. Some examples, taken from experiences of real BBC online disabled users detailed in the Study of Accessibility of BBC online, include:
- allowing people with motor impairments to read broadsheet-quality news on news.bbc.co.uk without having to turn broadsheet pages
- allowing children with motor and cognitive disabilities to access CBBC online games with ‘Switch’ technology bbc.co.uk/cbbc/games/switch
- allowing Deaf and hard of hearing people to "listen" to the Archers via transcripts on bbc.co.uk/archers/
However, the usefulness of BBC online and the wider world-wide web to these disabled users, and our aging users, depends on its accessibility.
The web promises an idea of universal access - a place where everyone is truly equal. This is a bold and exciting aspiration. But if that is to be the case it means we need to think carefully about what accessibility means:
For the visually impaired, and Deaf and hard of hearing people as well as those with motor or cognitive disabilities we will ensure that their needs are addressed first and foremost in all services developed from this point on. BBC programmes like 'Vision On' from the '70s, showed that creativity was not just within the gift of the able-bodied. It is an attitude we at the BBC need to keep top of mind in the modern age. We must create services that are accessible to all licence fee payers, of all ages and all abilities, making it easy for every single person to reach our content, and once there, to determine for themselves the value they derive from us.