Website aims for TV award

Jonathan Lozinski, Mere Mortals with Richard Wood, Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind Jonathan Lozinski, Mere Mortals with Richard Wood, Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind

A multimedia website designed by a North East digital team has been put forward for a Royal Television Society award as an example of how developers can improve the accessibility of their websites for visually impaired web users.

The new website for the Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind was created by Newcastle-based Mere Mortals.

The site has been nominated for the Innovation award at the North East and the Border Centre annual Royal Television Awards 2008, and the team will find out whether it is a winner at the awards ceremony in February.

The Society's website conforms to the highest international level of accessibility - known as W3C Triple A (AAA). The accessibility functions across the site ensure the needs of each user are met, based on how their level of sight affects their ability to read the content.

Mere Mortals developers have designed an added feature that automatically generates audio versions of content for people who wish to access the content in a non-visual way.

This feature works by automatically taking document content and converting it to an MP3 file which allows users to click a single link to access audio content.

Richard Wood, of the Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind, said: "Building this website was about the society moving forward, but we didn't expect it to be such an instant hit. The award nomination is beyond all expectations and I'd love it to win. In all honestly, the nomination alone has given us all at the society a wonderful boost."

Kathryn Taylor, director of Mere Mortals said: "The new website was an exciting challenge and an interesting project to work on. Adding features such as the automatic audio option actually goes beyond accessibility guidelines and also adds extra value for the client and their site users.

"We're all very pleased with the results as it shows our drive towards a media-neutral approach to servicing our clients' requirements is producing innovative solutions for today's demanding audiences."

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Reader’s comments

  1. Chris

    9:58 5 Jan 2009

    A story about 3 different websites? With links to none of them?

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