Scottish Widows has an extremely strong commitment to corporate social responsibility. This corporate ethos is demonstrated by providing a website that is accessible to all users, including disabled users.
Improving the accessibility of a website benefits all customers. It leads to better coded, faster loading pages with logical use of links and consistency of layout.
Having worked in-house to make its website as accessible as possible, Scottish Widows turned to User Vision to get a professional perspective on this and guidance on how to fix some of the remaining barriers to accessibility.
User Vision conducted a series of accessibility audits across the entire Scottish Widows consumer website. The first audit showed that the site was already accessible but identified key areas that could be improved.
User Vision audited all accessibility issues, ring fencing third party supplier sites that the Scottish Widows site links to. Currently, if a third party website is not accessible, the lead site is deemed inaccessible under W3C's "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0".
The Segala Trustmark is an independent, scalable, credible and secure method of meeting the growing demand for web accessibility compliance. The programme allows website owners to more easily adopt web accessibility best practices and comply with their legal obligation. It certifies and demonstrates accessibility compliance.
User Vision also delivered a training course to the Scottish Widows web team on accessibility and usability best practice.
The web is an empowering tool for people with disability, particularly for the housebound. It allows them to perform tasks they might not otherwise be able to do, like going to the bank or post office, buying groceries and social networking.
Critically, the in-house team at Scottish Widows is now highly aware of accessibility and think about accessibility first when briefing suppliers on a new project. This approach to designing and developing new web content and applications has resulted in cost savings for Scottish Widows.
The layout and coding of the site has been improved and Scottish Widows is the first Scottish financial institution to be awarded the Segala Trustmark for conformance to W3C's "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0".
This means that all web pages within Scottish Widows' control are compliant with all WCAG Single-A guidelines, as well as many checkpoints within Double-A and Triple-A. Scottish Widows is now working with User Vision to obtain AA accessibility on their consumer site, and A accessibility on their Financial Adviser site.
We have worked with User Vision for many years and value their professionalism and skill in usability and accessibility.
Elinor Crofts, Scottish Widows.