Fashionably late, due to my not being around over the last two days…
PAS78: Guide to good practice in commissioning accessible websites was officially launched by the BSI this Wednesday, 8 March 2006, at a one day event in London.
The document is the result of a year’s collaboration between the DRC, RNIB, BBC, Tesco, IBM, the W3C and many other contributors and reviewers.
Although it’s not perfect, the PAS gives a lot of very common sense advice to people in charge of commissioning any web development. It extolls the business sense of accessible web sites and provides decision makers with the information they need to avoid snake oil salesmen. It wisely does not try to set up its own set of accessibility guidelines, but heavily refers to W3C’s WAI WCAG, as well as making some excellent points (which directly address my usual “the onus is also on the user” argument) regarding UAAG and the need for users to meet developers half-way.
PAS 78 is available to purchase for £30 (and yes, the price tag itself has been a hotly discussed issue at the launch already) from the BSI in a variety of formats (including the Daisy audio format and accessible PDF). Site licenses that enable organisations to place a copy of the document on their intranet for viewing/printing/transfer are also available.