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:
Guidance from Gov.uk on making your website and app accessible:
Courses and training for the public sector across a range of subjects including accessibility:
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