BS 8878 in 88 seconds – a lightning summary of the Standard

Note: On 28th May 2019, BS 8878 was superseded by ISO 30071-1, the international standard that built on BS 8878 and expanded it for international use. More information can be found at ISO 30071-1 digital accessibility standards – All You Need to Know

As part of my collection of case-studies of implementations of BS 8878 for CSUN in February, I talked with a lot of UK organisations about BS 8878.

Two things came over loud and clear:

  1. Those who don’t know much about BS 8878 want a quick, free way of understanding what the Standard could do for them
  2. Those who have read the Standard and bought in to its approach want tools to help them roll it out with their staff

While I’m already working on the second of these, I don’t have the tools quite ready yet to share – watch this space…

However, I can help with giving you a taster of the benefits that organisations that are following BS 8878’s web production process enjoy.

Here’s a summary of BS 8878’s web production process in 88 seconds.

Let me know what you think…

Find out more information on BS 8878.

If you have any questions about BS 8878, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.


There are 11 million disabled people in the UK, and the number of elderly people is growing every year.

We use BS 8878 to help us understand how the decisions we make when we create websites and apps impact how easy it is for these people to use them.

We start by defining the purpose of the product and its target audiences.

We research the ways different people use web technologies and summarise them in personas to help remind us.

We work out the things people will use the product for, and separate them into core and non-core goals, so we can prioritise our work.

We decide what level of accessibility we are going to aim for, and whether we’ll include tools for users to personalise the product to better suit their needs.

We ensure the technologies we choose to make our websites and apps will allow us to deliver to that aim.

We use this ‘product accessibility policy’ as a brief for our internal teams, or when contracting external suppliers, so they know what we expect.

We help our designers and developers use the best accessibility guidelines to create the product, and use a range of tests during its creation to check it’s usable by its target audiences.

As it’s not always possible to get everything right first time, we let our users know of any deficiencies in the site’s ‘accessibility statement’ and give them a way of contacting us for feedback.

And we plan to address those deficiencies and uphold accessibility as we maintain the content in our products and iterate them through versions.

Using BS 8878, each member of the team knows what they can do to help make our products appeal to the widest possible audience, to uphold our brand values, and minimise any discrimination risk from the Equality Act.


Eric says

Thanks for this short overview. I would have liked to see some more visual scrolling through the document. Looking forward to more short explanations.

Jonathan Hassell says

Thanks, Eric.

I’m rather hoping at some point to have some animations to accompany the audio, which I think would be even better than ‘visual scrolling through the document’.

I’m cooking something up, but it’s not ready yet – I’ll let you know when it is…


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