PODCAST: Council websites will need to raise their game to meet new EU requirements says GDS accessibility chief
Alistair Duggin, Head of Accessibility at the Government Digital Service, explains implications of the new EU Accessibility Directive that will require action by owners of 40,000 public sector websites
People with disabilities need to be able to use websites as easily as people without a disability. This is enshrined in the Equality Act, and website owners can already be prosecuted if they can't.
However, as is explained in this podcast, new EU regulations coming into force on 23 September 2018 will require most public sector websites to do more. First, all websites will have to publish an accessibility statement, and second, they will need to meet EU accessibility standards, meaning, for those that know about these things, WCAG 2.0 to level AA. Public sector websites will be subject to monitoring of their performance in meeting these rerequirements. Recent testing by Socitm's Better Connectedprogramme suggests that most local authority websites do not curently meet WCAG 2.0 to level AA.
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We are very grateful to the GDS accessibility team for providing the following links and information:
The regulations come into force on 23 September 2018. New public sector websites published after 23 September 2018 need to meet the regulations by 23 September 2019. All other public sector websites need to meet the regulations by 23 September 2020. Public sector mobile applications need to meet the regs by June 2021
New accessibility regulations for public sector websites and apps
Web Accessibility Initiative - support materials to help managers and developers understand and implement accessibility
Introduction to Web Accessibility
Easy Checks – A First Review of Web Accessibility
Tips and tutorials for writing, designing, and developing for accessibility
The Service Manual - contains lots of useful information about accessibility
Testing for accessibility
Introducing the GOV.UK
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