This group has been created by the committee behind the new British Standard on Web Accessibility, BS8878.

BS8878 is the first British Standard to address the growing challenge of digital inclusion. It is a voluntary Standard which provides best practice information and processes for how to embed accessibility into an organisation and its web production processes.

You can find the Standard at: http://shop.bsigroup.com/ProductDetail/?pid=000000000030180388

And you can find a summary of what the Standard is about at: http://slidesha.re/ehNiko

And you can introductory video on why web accessibility is important at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awldEoQ-aNQ

BS8878 has been created by people who are used to tackling real-world accessibility issues in the production of web products. It has been reviewed by accessibility experts from all over the world to ensure its advice is good practice, and is applicable both in the UK and beyond.

Now it has been launched, what it needs is user-testing 'in the wild'.

The purpose of this group is to allow all those who are responsible for accessibility in organisations to have a place to feedback on the standard to the committee who wrote it - IST/45.

It's also a place for anyone wanting to use BS8878 to help them embed accessibility in their organisation or products to find a community of others like them, and the people who wrote BS8878 in the first place. It’s a place where questions about how to apply the standard in real decision making can be asked, and for discussion of the issues and thinking behind these decisions. This will certainly happen online, but also via face to face meet-ups, on subjects which community members find most challenging or important.

From time to time IST/45 may also publish support materials for BS8878 through this site, based on requests from the community’s members.

It’s your community – you set the agenda.

A few quick caveats:

This is a 'beta' form of this community to start it slowly and check out the suitability of meetup.com as a tool for facilitating community building, feedback, Q&A and event planning. If there is anything about the suitability, usability or accessibility of the site which would prevent you from engaging with the community, please email its organizer at jonathanhassell@yahoo.co.uk.

You should expect members of IST/45 to engage with discussions here, and answer questions where they can. However, please note that they will be speaking from their own expertise and on their own behalf, and not for the British Standards Institution. No opinions expressed on this community should be taken as being part of, adding to, or an official way of interpreting BS8878.

Please also be aware that this is a public forum. If there are questions that you wish to ask regarding BS8878 in confidence, please do this directly to Jonathan Hassell, IST/45’s chair, at jonathanhassell@yahoo.co.uk.

Note: The British Standards Institution, in its capacity as the UK National Standards Body, endorses this community of practice. The community’s feedback on BS 8878 is encouraged, as are suggestions for new standards in this area. This feedback and suggestions will be taken into account at times when BS8878 and related accessibility standards are being revised, as they provide a useful forum to gain wider input into the standards making process.

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