Accessibility across all media
At Sunbeam, accessibility is big. Maximizing the accessibility of your products offers you more benefits than compliance with legal regulations alone. Even users without disabilities will thank you!
Sunbeam can help you create barrier-free websites and other documents, either by making the changes in the product itself, or teaching you how to do it yourself at one of our workshops.
Barrier-free web design
The importance of website accessibility and compliance has increased enormously in recent years. This is due in part to the "Ordinance on the Creation of Barrier-Free Information Technology in Accordance with the Act on Equal Opportunities for Disabled Persons" (BITV), which required federal agencies and subordinate bodies to make their websites barrier-free by late 2005.
Additionally, barrier-free websites are becoming ever more important due to the increasing popularity of web-enabled mobile devices. Creating a barrier-free website (or, more generally, an accessible website) means more than just making it readable (or audible) for visually impaired or blind users.
The benefits of an accessible, standards-compliant Web site include:
- accessible for all
- well-indexed for search engines
- easy to maintain
- small file sizes - loads quickly - low traffic costs
- can be displayed on mobile devices
- sustainable for the future
What does an accessible website look like?
Accessible websites are characterized by:
- separation of content and presentation
- logical organization
- not optimized for specific devices
- compatible with previous browser versions
- may feature non-barrier free items
- compliance with HTML and CSS standards
Detailed information on the necessary steps for creating a barrier-free website can be found in the BITV, the criteria for the BIK short tests or the BIENE contest sponsored by Aktion Mensch.
Sunbeam makes your website accessible
In general, all of our products are already accessible because we avoid unnecessary barriers such as table layouts. In addition, we can render your website barrier-free in accordance with Level 1 or 2 standards of the German BITV or the Web Accessibility Initiative, WAI.
Sunbeam: Passing the accessibility test
The Berlin Greenpeace group won the coveted BIENE Award for its barrier-free website in 2005. With this prize, the national organization Aktion Mensch recognizes barrier-free websites that exhibit exemplary accessibility. In 2005, sixteen websites were chosen from over 300 entries after undergoing a three-step test procedure.
Sunbeam also made the BIK project’s 95plus-list of service providers who have passed their accessibility test. Sunbeam's entry www.greenpeace-berlin.de scored 98.5 out of 100 points, earning a grade of "A" for accessibility.
Sunbeam has also created barrier-free websites for a number of other clients, including the German Energy Agency (dena), Unternehmensvereinigung Solarwirtschaft (now Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft, the German Solar Industry Association), and the Virtual University of Bavaria.