Digital (Website) accessibility regulation is challenging to manage and is negatively impacting those for whom the rules should be assisting. Now with a specific timeline in relation to the public sector achieving accessibility compliance for their websites, we have summarised our Q4 / 2019 results, reporting the position across the sector.
It’s important to note that the INDEX covers the main website of each authority. The law applies to all websites operated, directly or on behalf of the authority.
An INDEX provides a benchmark as to how websites are performing against 8 Assessment Categories: Accessibility, Brand, Code / HTML, Email, Links (function), Performance, Search (SEO) and Spelling.
The EU Directive on the accessibility of public sector websites and mobile apps *(Directive (EU) 2016/2102 using
European standard EN 301 549 V1.1.2 (2015-04)), came into force for in the UK on 23 September 2018. The aim of
the regulations is to ensure public sector websites and mobile apps can be used by as many people as possible.
For the Sitemorse 2019 Q4 UK Local Government INDEX we assessed over 400 local authority websites for adherence to WCAG 2.1. The INDEX was compiled following some 270 million tests, checks and measures across more than 830,000 URLs.
Along with the compliance assessment of web pages, we also reviewed the PDF documents from each local
authority’s website. In total there were 3,552 PDF’s assessed of which 59% were not tagged for accessibility.
2 of the most common actions required to improve levels of compliance;
Ensuring accessible documents is an increasingly challenging task for public sector bodies, as it introduces
new work procedures and requires extra attention during document creation. The key to solving this challenge is supplying end users with tools that minimises the added workload and are easily adopted.
For over 10 years Sitemorse have been in partnership with Socitm, working on numerous initiatives including