What does the WCAG mean for your organization?

For (semi-) government, there has been a European directive for years to make websites accessible. As of July 1, 2018, this guideline has been converted into a legal obligation in the Netherlands via the ‘Temporary Decree on digital access to government’. The “Equal Treatment Act on Disability or Chronic Illness” Act of 2017 also obliges companies and governments to offer their services in an accessible manner. But what does the WCAG mean for your organization?

What is WCAG?

WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. WCAG 2.0 was launched in 2008 to provide web developers and web managers with tools to improve the accessibility of their digital channels. The guidelines have now been updated and WCAG 2.1 has been introduced. The guidelines within WCAG 2.1 are based on 4 principles:

  1. Perceptible
  2. Operable
  3. Understandable
  4. Robust

These principles are divided into 13 guidelines, with 78 success criteria linked to them.

The guidelines within WCAG 2.1 have now been incorporated into European legislation and are mandatory for all Dutch government organizations.

Optimize your website according to the legislation and WCAG 2.1

It is quite a task to understand how to interpret all these guidelines and what this means for your organization. With this step-by-step plan you inventory what you already do in terms of accessibility. Furthermore the plan will give an indication on what needs to be done for your website an how to comply with all legislation:

Step 1: inventory of the accessibility of the site

This step consists of:

Step 2: measures

On the basis of step 1 you determine which measures you will take in what period to work on the accessibility of your site.

Step 3: accessibility statement

Based on the measures formulated in step 2, you must prepare a new accessibility statement or amend an existing one as soon as possible. You can use the invulassistent again for this.

Step 4: Implement measures

In this step you will implement the measures as determined in step 2. You must include the results of these measures in the accessibility statement. With the invulassistent you can easily adjust the accessibility statement.

Step 5: go to step 1

Accessibility is an ongoing process. This means that when you have finished step 4 the process will continue with step 1.

A more detailed step-by-step plan is available on the Digitoegankelijk website.

Want to know more about making your website more accessible? In the coming blogs we will share how you can apply these guidelines in practice.