Meeting accessibility requirements
Inspired by Global Accessibility Awareness Day, techUK this month is hosting a series of free events this month on how the public sector and their tech partners can ensure inclusive design and accessibility is embedded across their services and organisation.
Last week we held our ‘Digital Inclusion: Meeting Accessibility requirements’ webinar to provide public sector bodies and their tech partners with helpful tips and advice on what they need to do now to meet the accessibility requirements and ensure that digital services are inclusive by design. Under The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (WCAG 2.1) existing public sector websites have until September 2020 to comply to meet accessibility standards and publish an accessibility statement.
It was a great opportunity to hear how peers across local government are complying with the regulations and creating a culture that is meeting the needs of their users and ensuring accessibility is embedded across the council. We were delighted to hear from:
- Darren Everden, Assistant Director (IT and Transformation), Gravesham Borough
- Andrew Grant, Former CEO, Aylesbury Vale District Council
- Kim Erbo Christensen, Country Manager UK, Dania Software
- Shadi Abou-Zahra, Accessibility Strategy and Technology Specialist, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
The speakers provided useful tools, tips and resources for public sector and industry on their journey to accessibility. You can watch the recording below to learn more. Common insights shared were:
- Accessibility is not something you do in silo. It needs to be embedded in the DNA and values of your organisation. Darren stated that at Gravesham they introduced it as part of a wider project.
- Know your users and need behind standards.
- It goes beyond compliance. Accessibility should be baked into mindset of the organisation.
- Provide training and skills through the design and development process. Consider upskilling project teams.
- As technologies such as artificial intelligence, chat and voice recognition grow in importance we may see a move away from websites and reduced form filling.