The heart of the BS 8878 document is a 16 step plan:1
Define the purpose.2
Define the target audience.3
Analyse the needs of the target audience.4
Note any platform or technology preferences.5
Define the relationship the product will have with itstarget audience.6
Define the user goals and tasks.7
Consider the degree of user experience the web productwill aim to provide.8
Consider inclusive design & user-personalisedapproaches to accessibility.9
Choose the delivery platform to support.10
Choose the target browsers, operating systems &assistive technologies to support.11
Choose whether to create or procure the Web product.12
Define the Web technologies to be used in the Webproduct.13
Use Web guidelines to direct accessibility Webproduction14
Assure the Web products accessibility throughproduction (i.e. at all stages).15
Communicate the W
eb product’s accessibility decisions
Plan to assure accessibility in all post-launch updates tothe product.In step 13 BS 8878 places the WCAG guidelines in context;these are no longer the main driver for accessibility.
Two case studies are provided which illustrate application of the holistic approach to Web accessibility.
Case Study 1: The Institutional Repository
The requirements, for example, to provide structural markupor meaningful alternative text for images in PDF files ininstitutional repositories can be difficult to achieve, especiallyif author are not available to ensure the correct meaning isprovided. However rather than prohibiting the deposit of papers which infringe accessibility guidelines (and lose thebenefits of open access repositories) the holistic approachwould adopt a strategy based on training (so that researchersare made aware of relevant issues and techniques forenhancing accessibility of their papers); workflow processes(so that deposited papers maintain their structure and relevantaccessibility metadata), the development of more accessibletemplates, etc.Examples of engagement with the key stakeholders include:
: Training provided (a) for researchers toensure they are made aware of importance of accessibilitypractices (including SEO benefits) and of techniques forimplementing best practices and (b) for repositorymanagers and policy makers to ensure that accessibilityenhancements can be procured in new systems.
Feedback to developers
: Ensure that suppliers anddevelopers are aware of importance of accessibility issuesand enhancements featured in development plans.
Feedback to publishers
: Ensure that publishers whoprovide templates are aware of importance of provision of accessible templates.
: Systematic auditing of repository item tomonitor extent of accessibility concerns and trends.A summary of how such approaches may relate to BS 8878 isgiven in Table 1 (see  for further information).
Step Case Study: Institutional RepositoriesRequirements Gathering
1 The purposes will be to enhance access to research papers.2 Target audiences will include the research community.3 Researchers may need to use assistive technologies to read PDFs.4 PDFs deposited by authors might not include accessibility support for people with disabilities.5 The paper will be provided at a stable URI.6 Users will use various search tools to find resource. Paper with then be read on screen or printed.
Usability of the PDF document will be constrained by publisher’s template. Technical accessibility will be constrained
by workflow processes.8 Not generally applicable. However RSS feeds will; be provided for new papers and to allow limited syndication of repository content.9 Aims to be available on devices with PDF support including mobile devices.10 Aims to be available to all browsers and platforms which support PDFs11 The service is provided by repository team.
12 HTML interface to PDF resources.13 HTML pages will seek to conform with WCAG 2.0 AA. PDF resources might not conform with PDF accessibilityguidelines.
14 Periodic audits of PDF accessibility are planned.15 Accessibility statement will be published.16 Periodic reviews of technical developments will take place.
Table 1: Application of BS 8878 to Document Policies on Accessibility of an Institutional Repository