Swansea gives size and speed priority

May 9, 2003

An audit of Swansea University's website by accessibility firm Nomensa showed it to have limited accessibility and not to be compliant with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act.

Despite a limited budget, Swansea was determined to offer an informative easy-to-use website that supported a spectrum of users and that complied with Senda.

It set itself the following objectives:

* To achieve A or AA accessibility standards, based on the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) guidelines

* To optimise pages to increase the number of users accessing the site

* To provide accessible educational information

* To develop a basis for adding new content without limiting accessibility.

The project also aimed to understand the web technology used for the site and to implement a programme of tutorials for the web team.

The team worked with Nomensa to bring about the following improvements to the site:

* Compliance with WAI standards

* Optimisation of page templates

* Smaller page sizes that display up to five times faster

* Optimisation of the site for printing

* The implementation of a training programme

* The use of validation tools to sustain accessibility.

The changes have also cut the site's bandwidth needs, reducing the strain on university servers.

www.swansea.ac.uk

www.nomensa.co.uk

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