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23rd September, 2020 – Finally, Public Sector Bodies need to comply with UK Digital Accessibility Regulations

4 August, 2020 by Ramya Venkitesh

UK Digital Accessibility Regulations - Deadline 23rd September 2020

Did you know that all public sector bodies in the United Kingdom must comply with updates to UK digital accessibility regulations – The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) by September 23, 2020?  

The accessibility regulationswhich came into force on the 23rd September 2018 aims to help make sure online public services are accessible to all users, including people with disability.  

The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 mean public sector organisations have an obligation to make websites and mobile applications accessible. Public sector bodies include central government, local government organisations, some charities and other non-government organisations in the United Kingdom.   

Public sector bodies must adhere to EN 301 549 and comply with the accessibility requirement as follows: 

  1. Public sector websites published on or after 23rd September 2018, should meet the accessible regulations by 23rd September 2019. 
  2. Any other website of a public sector body published after 23rd September 2018, should meet the accessible regulations by 23rd September 2020. 
  3. A mobile application of a public sector body should meet the accessible regulations by 23rd June 2021. 

How do you make sure that your services comply Accessibility Regulations 2018? 

  1. Understanding Accessibility Requirement: The accessibility regulations require public sector bodies to make websites and mobile applications more accessible by making it ‘perceivable, operable, understandable and robust’. The regulations also require the entity to include and update an accessibility statement on the website.
  2. Check your websites and mobile applications for accessibility: Analyse your website and mobile applications with your team to check whether they meet the international WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standard. If your organisation does not have the required skill set to audit whether the website or mobile app is WCAG 2.1 AA compliant, you can consult a third party to do a detailed audit instead. 
  3. Planning & Fixing Accessibility Problems: Once you have analysed the accessibility problems, chart out your priorities and roadmap to meet the accessibility standards. You can always get in touch with an accessibility consultant to help you test your website or mobile applications for accessibility and also prioritise how to fix the problems. The deadline for meeting this requirement has been mentioned above.  
  4. Publishing an Accessibility Statement: The new regulations then require you to publish an accessibility statement that explains how accessible your website or mobile app is in plain English and accessible format that can be understood by everyone. The statement should describe whether the website or the mobile applications is fully accessible, partially accessible or not accessible in detail. 

If you are looking to understand the new regulations in detail or need any assistance towards accessibility solutions for your website or mobile applications, get in touch with our accessibility experts.  

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