In February, Travolution reported on a Fortune Cookie survey of the accessibility to disabled people of websites in the travel sector.
The findings suggested industry-wide failure to engage with disabled and older web users, a market which the government has valued at £80 billion per annum.
Although pockets of good practice can be found, disabled travellers’ choices are severely curtailed.
As the industry braces itself for a recession, brands’ ability to engage all potential customers is becoming vital.
Disabled people aspire to travel. The web should be a rich source of information to enable them to plan and book their travel arrangements.
But at present, most web content is simply too difficult for disabled (and older) people to use.
Not only are travel operators missing up to 15% of potential customers, many are failing to meet their legal duty to disabled people as set out in the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act.
But how do disabled people use the web, and what can travel brands do to make access and interaction easier for them?
Help is at hand. BSI British Standards has announced the release of a draft British Standard that should help travel brands improve their reach into the largely untapped market of disabled web users.
In less than 50 pages, ‘BS 8878: Web accessibility – Building Accessible Experiences for Disabled People’ sets out a clear, easy-to-implement process that will help brands to enhance the accessibility and usability of their web content and applications for everyone.
Packed with practical recommendations, BS 8878 puts the focus on what brands can do to deliver compelling web experiences that deliver great conversion and improved SEO.
The draft of BS 8878 is available for comments until 31 January 2009.