BBC World Service Online

Finalist category: Accessibility Award

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Accessibility Award, Finalist, 2020

The BBC World Service provides regional and global impartial news and analysis in 44 languages. Each week its 41 websites reach 40-80m people around the globe with 85% on mobile devices.

Since 2018 the team have been rebuilding its websites from scratch to specifically focus on web performance – ensuring that users without access to high-end technologies, cheap data, and reliable information from other sources can access its impartial content as easily as possible.

The BBC World Service has been built on a foundation of Google Accelerated Mobile Pages, with a development workflow that makes accessibility central to all its work, to build what could be the most universally accessible news service in the world.

The BBC WS web product ensures accessibility is considered up-front for every feature, from the design process, writing acceptance criteria, and that every feature meets accessibility requirements before going live. A dedicated accessibility specialist works with the three software engineering teams, supporting and enabling all disciplines with embedded accessibility practises and processes and also ensuring each team has an Accessibility Champion.

The team ensure that pages are designed to work on less-capable devices and small screen sizes.  Browser support and testing effort is informed by audience data every six months to check the service is still matching the expectations of its audience. This ensures browsers like Opera Mini are high on the priority list (53% of our Hausa language audience).

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The Tech4Good Awards are organised by AbilityNet and BT and supported by a range of sponsors and partners: