UK project Fix the Web hits 500 mark for website access reports

Friday, 4 March 2011 16:33pm

The ‘Fix the Web’ initiative led by Citizens Online in the UK has hit the 500 mark for number of websites reported for accessibility issues, after only launching in mid-November.

The volunteer-based project provides an easy way for people with disabilities to make complaints about inaccessible websites. Funded by Nominet Trust, Fix the Web has successfully addressed issues on 36 sites, with 60 website owners acknowledging access issues and a total of 83 owners informed.

Websites that have addressed accessibility issues on their sites after Fix the Web reports include the BBC, Facebook, Coventry Building Society and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

English actor and writer and Fix the Web supporter Stephen Fry said, “We all expect a few glitches when we go on line, but when it comes to accessibility for disabled and older people, the problem is colossal. Fix the Web is doing something about it in a positive and practical way.”

Fix the Web currently has 414 volunteers and 125 reporters, who process the requests, check the accessibility issues of a reported site and report those issues to website owners. They aim to have 10,000 volunteers dealing with 250,000 websites within the next two years.

You can make complaints by email, through a form on the Fix the Web website, via Twitter (by tweeting #fixtheweb #fail, URL and the problem), or through the ATBar, a downloadable toolbar developed specifically for Fix the Web through partnership with Southampton University.

The ATBar allows you to quickly report a website’s accessibility issues by clicking the ‘Fix the Web’ button while on a site. This launches a report form that you fill out with the accessibility issue you are experiencing. The report is received by volunteers and the website’s accessibility issues are reported to website owners.

Media Access Australia has a number of resources for those looking to create accessible content online.

Visit the Fix the Web website for more information.

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