New law to replace EU Directive on Website Accessibility
- Are you planning a digital project which involves an app or a website?
- Are you funded by Government (local authority, national etc).
- Are you aware that the EU Directive on website accessibility is now UK Law?
What is happening?
There is now a law for website accessibility in the UK. These are called ‘The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018’ and implement the EU Directive on the accessibility of public sector websites and mobile applications.
The Government Digital Service have provided resources and sharing opportunities to support organisations to do this. These resources have links to meet ups and information, which you can find on this post.
We at DCN are also here to support you in setting up user groups and help you create and implement your access into your organisation.
Further information Government Digital Service: https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2018/09/24/how-were-helping-public-sector-websites-meet-accessibility-requirements/
Government Digital Service: What does Accessibility Mean?
Ok, how long have I got?
There are key dates to consider in relation to this law:
You, as an organisation need to comply from 23 September 2019.
All existing public sector websites (this includes any externally funded community projects by a Government funded i.e. public sector organisation) by 22 September 2020. All mobile applications by 22 June 2021.
|What’s covered||Deadline to comply with the regulations|
|New public sector websites (published after 22 September 2018)||22 September 2019|
|All other public sector websites||22 September 2020|
|Public sector mobile applications||22 June 2021|
What do I have to do?
Meet the accessibility standard and provide an access statement (there will be a template for this in early 2019).
Scroll to ‘How to do this and how GDS can help’ via this link https://bit.ly/2qrL4ya on information regarding procurement and evaluation.
Check your website: Does it reach the AA standard?
There are resources on this post to help you. Also it is important test your website via a user group.
We at DCN can support you with developing user groups and there are companies such as Ability Net and those listed in resources that can help you.
Write an access statement for your website.
There will be a template available in early 2019. Subscribe to https://gds.blog.gov.uk/subscribe/ for further details.
I’ve used a consultant, and it says some does, some doesn’t. What shall I do?
Your organisation needs to provide an access statement to tell the web visitor the areas that don’t meet AA standard and where they can get tools and information in order to make it to AA.
Ensure that your digital project has accessibility from the pre-planning and throughout the project, enabling time to test with users. See link: https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/technology/testing-for-accessibility
What happens if I don’t?
There are opportunities here to develop your website offer to increase engagement to your organisation. Your organisation may be in breach of the Equality Act 2010.
There are specific tasks that are low cost and simple such as captioning and use of accessibility settings on social media: https://www.musedcn.org.uk/2017/11/19/captioning-your-films-and-videos-stagetext/ and using captions on Youtube https://www.musedcn.org.uk/2018/06/07/how-to-be-more-accessible-on-social-media-snapchat-vimeo/
Organisations using tweetdeck: https://9to5mac.com/2018/07/03/tweetdeck-image-descriptions/
Using podcasts? Each podcast should have a script, remember to transcribe this as part of your online offer.
There is also new software that transcribes audio information which is available online. Ensure to check for accuracy.
Resources: Government Resources for Accessibility
Join the government accessibility google group
Over 800 civil servants with an interest in accessibility from over 50 government departments, agencies and organisations:
Upcoming accessibility regulations
Read the accessibility guidance in the Service Manual
- Meet level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) as a minimum
- Work on the most commonly used assistive technologies
- Include people with disabilities in user research
A team responsibility
Guidance for User Researchers
Guidance for Content Designers and Publishers
Writing content for everyone (Blog)
Guidance for Designers and Developers
What to do when
Understand common access needs early
- Ashleigh: partially sighted screen reader user
- Christopher: user with rheumatoid arthritis
- Claudia: partially sighted screen magnifier user
- Pawel: user with Asperger’s
- Ron: older user with multiple conditions
- Saleem: profoundly deaf user
- Simone: dyslexic user
Resources to help you design, build and test accessible interfaces
Testing a website
Learn more about accessibility
Sign up for accessibility workshops
Come to the government accessibility meetups
The meetups happen every 3 – 4 months and are promoted in the Google Group
Write ups of previous events
- October 2017 – Talking about printing, security and living with sight loss at the Cross-Government Accessibility Meetup
- May 2017 – Talking user research and designing for deafness at the Cross-Government Accessibility meetup