Web Accessibility Tool and Checklist:
Implementation and Tips
The Erasmus+ programme strives to promote equal access, inclusion, diversity and fairness in all of its pursuits. Inclusion and diversity have been set as one of the programme’s horizontal priorities and organisations should adopt an inclusive approach to ensure accessibility of digital content to a wide variety of participants. Accessibility is equally important in the digital realm as it is in the physical world.
According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), websites, tools and technologies are accessible if they are created and built in a way that ensures that individuals with differing abilities cannot just perceive, comprehend and navigate them, but also actively engage with them and make contributions. Web accessibility focuses on ensuring that web content remains accessible to people with various differing abilities: auditory, visual, speech, physical, cognitive, neurological etc. The Web Accessibility Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/2102) establishes regulations for all Member States to ensure that websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies meet the accessibility requirements. These requirements are further explained in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 developed by W3C. The Directive complements the European Accessibility Act, which covers a wide range of products and services in the private sector.
Web accessibility is recognised as a fundamental right and is incorporated into the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Article 9), ensuring their equal access to information and communication technologies, including the internet. Furthermore, EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 26) mentions the rights of persons with differing abilities to ensure their independence, social and occupational integration and participation in the life of the community. All of the above mentioned obliges web developers, designers and authors (content creators) to adhere to these principles. While it is a precondition to have accessible websites (work done by developers and designers), this tool is primarily created to help authors make information on the web more accessible to people with differing abilities, as well as easy to find and understand.
This tool is structured in a way thatexamines key elements of webaccessibility at three levels. Firstly, it explains ‘WHAT’ each element is, simplifying the technicalities for all users. It then emphasises ‘WHY’ these elements are vital for accessibility, highlighting their significance in ensuring equal access to information for all individuals. Finally, it outlines ‘HOW’ these elements can be optimised to meet accessibility standards, offering practical steps and tips to enhance inclusivity and ensure a smooth web experience for everyone.
You can download the PDF version of the tool to your device by clicking button below.