Despite all the technological innovations, many internet users still face issues with online accessibility. To promote the cause of accessibility, we provide a monthly international accessibility news roundup to document the emerging developments.
"Keeping up with these developments is a great way to guarantee that everyone can enjoy the content on your website."
Here are the most important developments in international accessibility this month:
Even with the Center for Disease Control reporting that one in five adults in America has a disability, government websites are still falling behind on accessibility because of a lack of clear guidelines. Non-profit organisations like Utah-based WebAIM are trying to change the way government websites are developed so they better meet the needs of everyone. These organisations propose that accessibility be built into the structural design of a website from conception, rather than have accessibility features added as a design afterthought as what is typically the case.
By law, ADA requirements apply to all business operations even digital assets including websites, apps, and software. Therefore, the digital assets of all business that serve the public must offer accommodations for people with sight, hearing, or mobility disabilities to provide accessibility. Testing website accessibility can be done through an internal or audit based on the ADA website compliance rules. If the business falls short of these requirements, they will have to upgrade or face potential legal penalties.
In order to meet the accessibility needs of everyone, the Australian government is planning to adopt European Standard EN 301 549 guidelines for information and service accessibility. This is a major step toward ensuring both public and eventually private entities provide accessible IT hardware, software, and devices. The government decided to adopt these standards after a publication titled “Information and Communications Technology in the Australian Public Services” showed the public sector disability employment rates were unsatisfactory. The European standards will make it easier for people with disabilities to work for the Australian government.
J. Colin Knisely
Carlson Lynch Sweet Kilpela & Carpenter LLP has filed dozens of lawsuits in the past year on behalf of people with visual impairments against the banking industry. These lawsuits claim that because of the lack of accessibility tools provided by these websites, consumers who need them are unable to access crucial financial information. The lawsuits are intended to pressure banks to adopt accessibility features on their websites.
At ALHAUS, we believe strongly in making your content accessible to everyone so your business never misses an opportunity to connect with a potential customer. So if you are looking to improve the accessibility of your website, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our accessibility services!