One of the widely publicized topics this year is web accessibility. The mention started with the publication of the new law regarding the guidelines for W3C (The World Wide Web Consortium), which was launched earlier this year. The law has to ensure, that as many as possible are able to use websites and mobile applications. This especially counts people with a disability.
The law takes its starting point in the European Parliament and Council’s directive about web accessibility and is furthermore defined by ”European Accessibility Act” (EAA) EN 301 549. The purpose is to increase the distribution of available products and services which are used by people with a disability in Europe.
Since our world is turning more and more digital, it has become way more relevant to remove obstacles and thereby secure digital inclusion.
We have a common responsibility for, that everyone on the planet, who in any type of way is hindered by a disability, have the same options, or equivalent options, to navigate in a world, where the digitalization is on its highest.
The law is sneaking up on us – and everyone has to take part
The law is implemented in phases, whereas the first legal requirement for public organizations was implemented September 23rd, 2018. In the beginning the law only makes demand for public organizations. However, within a short time frame it will count for all of us. In 2025 every tradesman has to keep to the directive. At the moment the exact wording of the act isn’t known, but we know that the EAA is based on the WCAG 2.1 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). It is therefore expected, that the final law description for 2025 will reflect the WCAG.
Source: Inclusive Design Toolkit - Microsoft Download Center
How do you test for accessibility?
It is already possible to find several plugins, which is compatible with Google Chrome. One of them is “Web Disability Simulator”
I have created a small GIF-video, which shows you how it feels like using a website as a dyslexic. It is quite interesting to get a sense of how your site is experienced by others.
We have to remember that the Internet and its websites is for everyone – regardless of physical and mental disabilities. Around ~1.000.000.000 people suffer from some type of disability. Therefore, it is a need to create a user-experience with supports accessibility. Both in regard to the users, but also for your business.