We’ve developed an accessible media player and we’re making it available to download for free right here on our website.
We started building our player towards the end of 2009 and have already used it as part of our work with clients. But with few robust, accessible players out there, we began to think about how we could do more with what we’d created.
Making the pledge
In March this year, we attended NDI10, a digital participation conference, where we pledged to make our accessible player available to all delegates. The idea was to make it easier for attending organisations to have a well designed, accessible media player on their website.
Before releasing it into the wild, we wanted to test the player with disabled users, as well as our own quality team. We have many years’ experience testing for accessibility, but we recognise that as non-disabled users, we’ll never be able to recreate the experience of a disabled user.
Working with Shaw Trust
Shaw Trust is one of few accessibility organisations who employ their own testing team. They provide full testing with disabled users who have a wide range of disability requirements. They’ve also advised the BBC on accessibility, so we thought they’d be the perfect people to give our media player the once over.
The web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) establish a common set of principles and standards, but the experience of disabled users is vital. Their feedback plays a key part of understanding how to interpret the guidelines. It allows us to create a site or product that doesn’t just meet the standard, but offers a good user experience for everyone. That includes people who access the site using screen readers and other assistive technologies.
Our project team spent a day at Shaw Trust in South Wales to put our accessible media player through its paces. Our time there was extremely valuable and by working together we’ve been able to refine our player before releasing it. Everyone was so helpful and keen to share their knowledge and experience – we left excited and inspired by our visit!