Getting Started

“At the core of the BBC’s role is something very simple, very democratic and very important, to bring the best to everyone. Wherever you are, whoever you are, whether you are rich or poor, old or young, that’s what we do. Everybody deserves the best.”

Tony Hall, Director General of the BBC

We all experience impairments. As a child and as we age; in certain situations, such as a loud room or dim lighting; and with health and body differences. Sometimes impairment is temporary and sometimes ongoing. And people are unique, in their behaviours, aims, abilities, attitudes, experience, and the tools and technologies they use.

The BBC follows the ‘social model of disability’, where disability is a mismatch between a person’s impairment and a poorly designed or constructed environment. For example, being in a room with no doors disables the occupant when trying to leave. And being unable to tab through a website hinders keyboard-only and screenreader users.

Microsoft’s Inclusive Design Toolkit includes a personna spectrum that illustrates and explains this in greater detail.

Who’s responsible?

Every member of a team creating websites and apps has responsibility for ensuring the inclusivity and accessibility of those digital products.

Product Managers and stakeholders have a responsibility to ensure their teams have the necessary support, training and guidance to create accessible and inclusive products, and to prioritise accessibility within requirements gathering and production processes.

User Experience and Design begin implementing the inclusive approach, and may employ user research and co-creation sessions. Accessibility and inclusivity should be considered, clarified and communicated before the first line of code is written.

The BBC Global Experience Language embraces accessibility and includes a clear introduction on how to design for accessibility.

Developers are responsible for technical accessibility, reinforcing the best practice of the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines and supporting users of assistive technology.

Refer to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1, the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), WebAIM, Google Web Fundamentals and Mozilla Web Docs for further reading on accessibility techniques, and tools that may be useful.

Editorial teams are responsible for providing clear well-structured text content, appropriate text alternatives for images, and subtitles or transcripts for media.

Refer to the BBC Editorial Guidelines and the BBC Accessibility Labeling Library (BBC access only) for a list of preferred labels. The BBC Global Experience Language provides guidance on icons.

Quality Assurance should be included from the onset, translating the original accessibility requirements into tests.

Various tools are available to assist with this, such as bbc-a11y and Lighthouse, although automated tests can only cover some checks.

The BBC Executive confirms our commitment to inclusivity as part of our BBC Values.

The BBC Accessibility Statement explains our commitment to accessibility and lists further BBC reference documents.