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A black & white photo of Simon, a smiling middle-aged white man with short hair and a short beard.

Simon Leadbetter

The Accessibility Guy

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After training and working as a Graphic Designer, this thing called the internet came along and I was asked to build a website. As I was already coding (and playing) games on his Vic 20, Commodore 64 and ZX 80 etc, I grasped the opportunity. 

From that moment in 1994 it is fair to say I was hooked and I have been professionally building websites ever since.

Over a 30 year period I have created many websites. I survived the browser wars (Netscape and Explorer); the mobile revolution, witnessed the rise and global domination of Google; and worried about the effects of social media. However, throughout this journey it always troubled me that everything that was being created was created by people with no formal training and no insight into the impact they had on society. Let’s be honest, web developers were making it up as we went along.

We were focussed on just getting it to work consistently on all the different  browsers. Then the same was true for mobile devices. Then understanding Google’s ranking algorithm so we could rank number 1. The list could go on. However, what is missing is the drive and ambition to make websites work for everything — no matter their needs.

To be honest, Web 1.0 did a decent job, but the demands of the internet moved on and so have I. It is time I did something about it.

Providing digital accessibility training or conducting an accessibility audit means I can influence teams of people to build things the right way.

My weirdly wired left/right dominant brain means I understand the value of design, branding as well as be fluent in the technical language that underpins the web.

There is nothing I love more than seeing a team of people get excited about improving the digital landscape that is so mired with bad architecture.

Likes and Dislikes

I like…

  • Mountains
  • Kindness
  • Music (most genres)
  • Woodwork

I’m not so keen on…

  • Monarchy
  • The word passionate
  • Sugar

Simon's Latest Activity

21 June 2024

Does the European Accessibility Act 2025 mean my website will need to be accessible?

If you are asking the question, ‘Does my website need to be accessible?’, then the answer is yes — irrespective of existing or future laws. However, change is (finally) coming with new laws set by the European Commission in its European Accessibility Act (EEA) 2025 which seeks equal access to digital products and services across Europe.

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14 May 2024

Welcome to Digital Accessibility

Scaramanga launch Digital Accessibility to mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2024.

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21 September 2021

This calculator is the best in the world and a design classic!

This is the best calculator in the world! Why? We explore what a UX designer (or any designer for that matter) can learn from this everyday object. 2 plus 2 is 4, now that’s quick maths.

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06 October 2020

Making websites accessible and open for business

DDA, WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1, AAA, AA , A, ADA, W3C, WebAIM, WAI, 508.

It is fair to say that the website industry, like many others, does like an acronym/initialism. What you may find surprising is that the few I have listed above all relate to website accessibility.

This article will unravel the minefield that is website accessibility.

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