RNIB partners with fix the web to tackle the issue of inaccessible websites

At last, an easy way to complain about inaccessible websites – start reporting problems now!

The Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) and Fix the Web has announced a partnership to tackle the issue of inaccessible websites.
Fix the Web is a campaign that has been launched to tackle the problem of inaccessible websites on a massive scale. Backed by Stephen Fry, Fix the Web is an initiative of Citizens Online a national charity that campaigns for internet access for all.
Millions of disabled and older people are excluded from easily navigating their way around the web. The majority of websites are simply not designed with accessibility for all in mind, despite the proven business case for inclusion. To compound the problem, it is often difficult to complain about the offending sites.
The partnership encourages people with disabilities to report any accessibility problems they have with a website. Volunteers then assess and take forward the issue to the webmaster in question, hopefully reaching a solution and certainly raising awareness.
Robin Spinks, RNIB's Principal Manager (Digital Accessibility) said: "There is no excuse for inaccessible websites. This will give blind and partially sighted web users the opportunity to put pressure on website owners to make the necessary changes."
Dr. Gail Bradbrook of Citizens Online said:"We have made the reporting of web accessibility issues as simple as possible – it takes less than 60 seconds and hundreds of volunteers are already waiting to deal with them. We look forwards to working with the RNIB on delivering the best possible results from this project."
So next time you are facing a web accessibility issues why not report it to fix the Web? You can do it in four quick and easy ways:

1. Fill in a form on the site: http://www.fixtheweb.net
2. Use twitter (#fixtheweb #fail, url and the problem)
3. Email: post@fixtheweb.net
4. Download a toolbar available on the site for browsers, developed by Southampton University, which includes a reporting button.

You don’t have to register with the site (http://www.fixtheweb.net/reporting-websites)
But if you do it can make the process even easier.
RNIB also offers accreditation audit services to help website owners make sure that their website is welcoming to all visitors, regardless of any disability or technology needs.
Fix the Web is funded by Nominet Trust and alongside RNIB, is proud to be working in partnership with: AbilityNet, Bloor Research, Coolfields Consulting, Hanona, Learning Societies Lab and Nomensa.
For further press information please contact Grant Imlach, RNIB Media Relations Team on 020 7391 2223 or email pressoffice@rnib.org.uk. Out of hours call 07968 482812.

To catch our media releases as they arrive follow RNIB Media on Twitter @RNIB_Media Follow Fix the Web on Twitter:@FixTheWebGail

Notes for Editors

(i) RNIB: Every day around 100 people in the UK will start to lose their sight. There are almost 2 million people in the UK with sight problems. RNIB is the leading charity working in the UK offering practical support, advice and information for anyone with sight difficulties. If you, or someone you know, has a sight problem RNIB can help. Call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk

(ii) Fix the Web is run by Citizens Online which is a national charity that believes participation in the digital world is a basic human right. As a result it is committed to promoting digital inclusion. It is their aim to ensure that the benefits of digital technologies can be enjoyed and shared by everybody, so that our society may become more inclusive and just. www.citizensonline.org.uk

(iii) With a potential UK market of 1.6 million registered blind users, 1.5 million people with cognitive difficulties and a further 3.4 million with disabilities preventing them from using the standard keyboard, screen and mouse set-up with ease, e-businesses are losing out on some £50 - £60 billion per year buying power by not having fully accessible web sites, says AbilityNet.

(iv) Nominet Trust is a charity launched in 2008 to mobilise the internet for social good. To the majority of Internet users, the name Nominet remains largely unknown, but for millions of website owners in the UK, Nominet provides registration and administration support for their .uk domains. For Nominet Trust – the organisation’s charitable arm – it’s the users that are the primary focus, and the Trust funds in distinctive and innovative IT-related projects that make a difference to people's lives, particularly in the areas of web access, education and safety. The Trust also supports projects that use the internet imaginatively to address specific social problems. Almost ten million people in the UK have never been online and four million of those are amongst the country's most socially excluded. So the people who have the most to gain from the Internet - whether to overcome isolation, to save money or to find help - are the ones who are missing out. Nominet Trust seeks to redress these imbalances by funding projects that give people the skills and tools to be online safely and responsibly. www.nominettrust.org.uk
(v) AbilityNet is a registered national charity (charity no. 1067673) with over 20 years experience helping people adapt and adjust their information and communications technology (ICT). Their work is unique, working across the UK and beyond. Their special expertise is ensuring that whatever an individual’s age, health condition, disability or situation they find exactly the right way to adapt or adjust their ICT to make it easier to use.
(vi) Bloor Research is one of Europe's leading IT research, analysis and consultancy organisations. Working to bring greater agility to corporate IT systems through the effective governance, management and leverage of Information, Bloor Research has built a reputation for 'telling the right story' with independent, intelligent, well-articulated communications content and publications.
(vii) Coolfields Consulting specialises in all areas of web accessibility, including auditing, consulting, web design and training. Coolfields Consulting perform accessibility audits of websites and web applications to provide practical and creative solutions. Working in partnership with other organisations, Coolfields offer formal training in accessibility techniques. With over fifteen years of internet and user interface experience, Coolfields design and develop websites and user interfaces that are attractive, accessible to as many people as possible, easy to use and easy to find.
(viii) Hanona is a group of specialists in web accessibility and digital inclusion. http://www.hanona.org/
(ix) The Learning Societies Lab (LSL) is a multidisciplinary research group in the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton. The LSL brings together perspectives from computer science, psychology, education and the social sciences, and develops leading-edge technologies and applies them to enhancing formal and informal learning in personal and collaborative settings. http://www.lsl.ecs.soton.ac.uk
(x) Nomensa is a digital agency, which specialises in perfecting online user experience, web accessibility and web design. Nomensa delivers compelling user experience research and design services that improve how people use the web and digital technologies