BS 8878 is the British Standard for web accessibility introduced in 2010.
The British Standard BS 8878 is not another WCAG (Website Content Accessibility Guideline) but recommends that the WCAG 2.0 is used in the creation of websites or web product.
BS 8878 is about putting the user centred approach, now recognised as the key of creating a successful website, at the heart of accessibility.
The British Standard BS 8878 provides a framework for organisation to ensure their web products are accessible. This framework includes creating policies and procedures and involving disabled people in developing and testing.
BS 8878 provides a 16 step process for creating accessible web products which are covered under six stages:
Stage 1: Requirements Gathering
The requirements gathering stage involves conducting the right research and thinking before launching into the development of the web product, such as defining the purpose of the web product and its users while targeting their needs.
Stage 2: Strategic Decision
The strategic decision stage involves strategic decision making based on the findings in the requirements gathering stage, such as what degrees of user experience you want to web product to meet and what browser, OS (Operating System) and AT (Assistive Technology) you want to support.
Stage 3: Production
The production process involves choosing the development technologies you will use to build your web product and select the appropriate accessibility guidelines.
Stage 4: Accessibility Insurance (Testing Plan)
This stage requires you to create and implement an accessibility testing plan. An accessibility test plan may often take the form of a flow chart, starting with identifying the route a user will take within your web product, the challenges they may face and resolving those challenges. Disabled or abled users can be included for live testing during the test plan process.
Stage 5: Communication
In the communication stage you create an accessibility statement for the web product to communicate what you have done to make the website more accessible.
Stage 6: Maintenance and Review
Lastly, the maintenance and review stage involves making continuous accessibility improvements based on user feedback and technological changes.