Digital Product Accessibility Policy

The BBC Digital Accessibility Policy is about ensuring the BBC’s digital products, services and digital environments are accessible to everyone by removing barriers and facilitating inclusion.

Digital Accessibility can relate to: websites, mobile applications, TV platform applications, video games, voice skills, XR experiences, digital learning experiences, online live events, content re-purposed from broadcast TV, off-schedule AV content, content published on social media platforms, provision and publication of information and organisational practices – the way we do things in relation to audiences.

Being inclusive and accessible to disabled people is an integral part of the BBC’s Diversity Strategy. Accessibility is therefore a key objective in the BBC’s ambition to ensure that the BBC delivers, "value for all".

Disabled people are a diverse group that makes up over 20% of the UK’s population. This policy relates to anyone who has an impairment or condition that requires specific consideration

For disabled people accessibility is vital for rights of access, social inclusion, participation and opportunity. As such the BBC designs its products and services in a way that aims to provide disabled people with an inclusive experience that is comparable to that enjoyed by non-disabled people. The BBC will also seek to include disabled people in all audience and design research programmes.

To ensure this is both achieved and maintained, accessibility is part of a programme of continuous research and improvement. Digital accessibility will also be regularly reported at board level.

Note: Clause 23 of the Framework Agreement states that the BBC commercial activities must fit with the BBC’s Mission and Public Purposes therefore the BBC’s accessibility commitments are central to the way our subsidiaries design and develop their digital products and services, as well as joint venture partnership products or services that carry the BBC brand.

Our commitments:

  1. Accessibility will be considered from the start when developing new products and services, or partnership proposals, ensuring accessibility is built and iterated in a way that is both scalable and sustainable.

  2. Accessibility is recognised as a joint responsibility of the Product, Design and Editorial teams in respect to their function.

  3. The BBC’s digital design system, BBC Global Experience Language (GEL) has accessibility built-in to every pattern and resource it provides. This includes designed experiences for both sighted and vision impaired users with support for voice, keyboard, point or touch control input where appropriate.

  4. All digital projects will utilise BBC GEL as well as supporting all platform level accessibility features, as well as other assistive technologies, through compliance with BBC Product Accessibility Guidelines for UK or WCAG AA (mobile, web, IPTV and XR) for international or commercial products and services.

  5. All mobile, online or console games will comply with age appropriate Games Accessibility Guidelines for up to 12 or 12 and over.

  6. The Digital Accessibility Team provides: guidelines, training, skills development, advice and resources. These resources enable and support inclusive design, editorial and technical delivery of digital products.

  7. The BBC Accessibility Champions Network ensures every project will have at least one person representing the voice of disabled users.

  8. All content on BBC iPlayer originally broadcast with access services will include those access services: sign interpretation, audio description and subtitles, where supported by the platform.

  9. All off-schedule streamed or downloadable content on either BBC or social media platforms will follow best practice as outlined in BBC Editorial Policy.

  10. The BBC will actively share knowledge in this area with wider industry groups and partners in order to facilitate greater access and consumer choice in the marketplace for disabled people.

Editorial Policy

GEL Design and Technical Guides