People with learning difficulties have trouble using web

Web
designers should do more to make internet sites accessible to disabled people,
mental health charity Mencap has concluded after surveying thirty popular sites.

The
survey was carried out jointly by researchers and people with learning
difficulties, who rated UK based sites for internet shopping, sport, news,
entertainment and local government.

The
websites for the BBC, Tesco and NHS Direct were praised for ease of navigation
and use of symbols and pictures to support text.

The
UK parliament website and shopping site Bluewater.co.uk received a ‘could do
better’ rating. The Parliament homepage had no help button, the language was
complex and there were no images, researchers found.

“An
increasing number of organisations are realising that unless they consider the
needs of disabled people, they are effectively excluding millions who need and
want access their services,” said a Mencap spokesperson.

The
charity recently re-launched it’s own site to make it more accessible to people
with learning disabilities. One service user said: “I like the way it’s set up.
The pictures are really nice – it shows you what people do.”

www.mencap.org.uk

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