5. Make sure everyone can use the service
Provide a service that everyone can use. This includes disabled people and people who don’t have access to the internet or lack the skills or confidence to use it.
Why it’s important
Government services must work for everyone who needs to use them.
People have a legal right to services and payments from public sector organisations. This means government has a duty to consider everyone’s needs when designing and delivering services.
Inclusive services mean thinking about how users might access and use your service before you design or build anything. You should:
- include disabled people in user research
- understand people’s skills, connectivity and confidence in using digital technologies
- consider what support might be required to help people use your service
Inclusive design is about making sure your service can be used by as many people as possible.
Accessibility is about making sure your service is usable by disabled people. Accessibility applies to all parts of the service. You should consider how you will provide letters in alternative formats, while making sure online forms are accessible to those using assistive technology like screen readers.
Creating accessible services will also benefit other users. For example, using simple words helps people who have a learning disability, but also helps people who are tired.
How you do it
- Understand how users need to access your service
Your user research should provide a comprehensive understanding of the needs of people who will use your service
- Show that all parts of the service are inclusive
Inclusive design should cover physical space, face to face, telephone, letters and online applications
- Include diverse perspectives
Engage with as broad a range of people as possible with different situational needs
- Make sure disabled people can take part in user research
User engagement should be accessible
- Use simple language
Make sure the information to support your service is designed to meet the minimum reading age
- Have a budget for accessibility
This includes accessibility testing or where you are required to provide access to the service in a different way
- Set a measurable target for accessibility
Establish what you need to measure and set targets for meeting accessibility requirements
- Do accessibility testing with real users
Making sure this is done in an environment they are comfortable with
Links to detailed guidance:
- Guidance on designing an inclusive service from GDS
- Introduction to making your service accessible from GDS
- A Scottish Government blog on accessibility and public sector websites
- Information on testing for accessibility from GDS
- Example accessibility workflow from mygov.scot
- WCAG quick reference to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
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