Accessibility for intranets

In an ideal world, every staff member would be able to access the intranet regardless of role, location or disability. In reality, many staff do not have access to the intranet and accessibility needs are rarely thought about, let alone acted on. However, worldwide legislative changes to create equality in web sites are having a positive impact on improving intranets.

In this article we focus on the three tiers of action necessary to provide broader accessibility for intranets:

  • strategic: making the commitment to provide an accessible intranet
  • technical: building accessible components into systems
  • tactical: providing education and tools for content publishers

The common definition for accessibility is that a product, service, environment, or facility should be usable by people with the widest range of capabilities. A rule-of-thumb definition for accessibility on intranets is that any staff member, regardless of disability, age, cultural or linguistic background or situation, should be able to use the intranet, and its tools.

An accessible intranet can be a fundamental part of an overall positive user experience for all staff.

International standards exist for web accessibility and these are also applied to intranets. These standards are commonly referred to as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). Within the standard there are three levels of compliance from A (basic) to AAA (highest).

[December article by Catherine Grenfell, read the full article]

James Robertson
James Robertson is the Managing Director of Step Two, the global thought leaders on intranets, headquartered in Sydney, Australia. James is the author of the best-selling books Essential intranets, Designing intranets and What every intranet team should know. He has keynoted conferences around the globe. (Follow him on Twitter or find him on Google+)