The Web Accessibility Directive & the public sector

Usability | September 2018

handheld device with digital imageryLegal accountability for mobile and web applications

The UX community witnessed a significant development on 23/9/18, with the passing of a new UK law implementing the EU’s Web Accessibility Directive.

The Web Accessibility Directive states that all public sector bodies become legally accountable for the accessibility of their web and mobile applications. Although the UK is set to leave the EU in March 2019, because the directive has already been transposed into UK law, public sector bodies will still be required to remain compliant after March 2019.

The requirement

Under the Web Accessibility Directive, websites and mobile applications are required to meet the WCAG 2.1 AA standard. Additionally, organisations must publish an accessibility statement outlining:

  • Which parts of the service do not meet accessibility standards and why;
  • How people with access needs can get alternatives to content that’s not accessible;
  • How to report accessibility problems – including providing a link to the government website that they can use if they’re not happy with the response.

Public sector deadlines

The following deadlines have been set for public sector organisations to meet the requirements.

23 September 2019 – all new websites and apps published after 23 September 2018 will become subject to the directive.

23 September 2020 – all websites published before 23 September 2018 will become subject to the directive.

23 June 2021 – all mobile apps will become subject to the directive.


How we help public sector organisations

mobile phone with app imageryOur consultants offer expert guidance on the Web Accessibility Directive, helping public sector bodies comply. Depending on your needs, our approach may include: helping you come up with a strategy for digital accessibility; conducting an accessibility audit against WCAG 2.1; conducting user testing with participants with access needs; or upskilling your team by running accessibility training, to ensure that any new content and pages meet the directive’s requirements.

The Web Accessibility Directive – an exciting development

At System Concepts we’re excited to see this development in UK law, which emphasises that digital inclusion is a right, not a privilege. Along with in-depth knowledge of WCAG, we bring longstanding experience in helping clients ensure that their websites and mobile applications are accessible and compliant. We look forward to hearing from you if you think we can help.

Speech bubbleGet expert assistance in meeting the Web Accessibility Directive

Contact System Concepts’ team of experienced UX consultants

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