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Avanti West Coast accredited for its inclusive and accessible website

Posted: 9 December 2021 | | No comments yet

Avanti West Coast has become the first train operator to have achieved the Shaw Trust Web Accreditation, after its website tested successfully for people with a wide range of disabilities to access.

Avanti West Coast accredited for its inclusive and accessible website

Credit: Avanti West Coast

The intercity train operator’s website has achieved the Shaw Trust Web Accreditation, a mark confirming it has been tested by people with a wide range of disabilities and found to be easily accessible.

Working alongside Shaw Trust Accessibility Services, Avanti West Coast made updates and changes to content on its website to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which is an international standard.  

An assessment by the charitable enterprise’s digital auditors, as well as a series of automated and human tests by users with a disability identified what design and coding (what defines content structure on the front-end of a website) changes were required to meet these standards.

To address the requirements to obtain the accreditation, coding was changed to ensure content is accessible to keyboard only users and assistive technologies, including screen readers. In addition, changes were made to the design of webpages to provide sufficient colour contrast between text and background for visually impaired users.  

Avanti West Coast’s website conforms to WCAG 2.1 Level AA, going above the minimum requirement of WCAG standards and making it accessible to more people. 

The accreditation follows the launch of Avanti West Coast’s dedicated social media forum earlier in 2021, to create an interactive online community for disabled customers travelling on its route.

“We want everyone to use the railway and recognise it’s important a consistent approach is adopted, which is why we’re pleased to be the first train operator to be awarded this accessibility accreditation for our web content by Shaw Trust,” commented Brandon Peat, Accessibility and Inclusion Manager at Avanti West Coast.

“Providing an accessible website is the latest project we’ve delivered as part of our commitment to make journeys and easy and convenient for all our customers. It has been great to work with Shaw Trust to make sure our website meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and we hope it will enable customers to book and plan their journey confidently and independently every time they travel with us.”

Joe Manock, National Account Manager, Shaw Trust Accessibility Services, added: “Shaw Trust are absolutely delighted to have awarded Avanti West Coast their WCAG 2.1 AA Accreditation for the outstanding work in making their website accessible and inclusive for all. We have been impressed at the way they have left no stone unturned in making sure that one and all can access their services. It has been a real pleasure to work with the Avanti West Coast Team and we look forward to continuing supporting them on their accessible journey.”

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