News

04 May 2019

Is your public sector website ready for September 2019?


Is your public sector website ready for September 2019?

September 2019 sees the introduction of new regulations around ensuring that public sector websites and mobile apps meet accessibility standards.

Making a website or app accessible ensures that it can be used by as many people as possible - including those with impaired vision, learning and motor difficulties and other disabilities.

Accessible websites and apps are better for all users; they are often faster and easier to use and have been designed with a user-centered focus. Our own work on the new Hartlepool Now, for Hartlepool Borough Council and due to launch in October 2019, is based upon an accessibility-first approach.

The new regulations ("The Public Sector Bodies Websites and Mobile Applications No 2 Accessibility Regulations 2018") implement the EU Directive on the accessibility of public sector websites and mobile applications with the key dates for implementation being:

  • 22 September 2019: when all new public sector websites published after 22 September 2018 need to meet the regulations,
  • 22 September 2020: the deadline for all other public sector websites to be compliant,
  • 22 June 2021: when all public sector mobile apps should meet the regulations.

The two key requirements of the new regulations are:

  • ensuring that your website or app meets accessibility standards, such as WCAG 2.1 Level AA. These standards are based around making your website / app perceiveable, operable, understandable and robust.
  • the publication of an Accessibility Statement, based upon a template which will be available from GDS soon.

Check out these external links and articles to find out more about the upcoming changes:

How the Government Digital Services is helping public sector websites meet accessibility guidelines:
https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2018/09/24/how-were-helping-public-sector-websites-meet-accessibility-requirements

Guidance from Gov.uk on making your website and app accessible:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/accessibility-requirements-for-public-sector-websites-and-apps

Courses and training for the public sector across a range of subjects including accessibility:
https://designnotes.blog.gov.uk/events-and-training-in-the-user-centred-design-community/


Back to blog articles

Stay in touch with news, offers and insights.