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Home India’s Digital Inclusion Initiative is now a Law: IS-17802 Mandates Accessible ICT Products and Services 

India’s Digital Inclusion Initiative is now a Law: IS-17802 Mandates Accessible ICT Products and Services 

In today’s fast paced digitally – driven world, accessibility is not just a matter of convenience but also a matter of civil rights. Yet, there are many inaccessible websites and mobile applications that make it difficult for people with disabilities to get access to important information and services. Imagine the frustration of attempting to book a flight ticket online with a screen reader only to encounter an inaccessible form. 

Recognizing this, India has taken a significant step forward with the enforcement of the IS 17802 standard, marking a commitment to digital inclusion for people with disabilities. Let’s delve into what this standard entails and why it’s crucial for businesses to adhere to it. 

What is IS 17802? 

IS 17802 is an Indian Standard developed to provide a set of accessibility requirements that specify how to make content accessible, primarily for the people with disabilities and also for all the end users. – Broadband India Forum.  

The standard is legally enforced from 11th May, 2023 when the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) notified the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Amendment) Rules, 2023 to amend the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2017. 

The standard is divided into 2 parts:  

  • IS 17802 (Part 1) : Requirements 
  • IS 17802 (Part 2) : Determination of Conformance 

IS 17802 aligns with the global accessibility standards and guidelines such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act, and the European Standard EN-301 549 

IS 17802: Requirements 

The standard clearly mentions the following requirements: 

  1. Text alternatives for images and videos – Images, audios and videos must be accompanied by descriptive or alternative text to facilitate understanding for those with visual impairments. 
  2. Keyboard navigation – Users who cannot operate a mouse must be able to navigate websites using only keyboard inputs. 
  3. Colour Contrast – Implement clear colour differentiation to aid users with visual impairments in distinguishing content. 
  4. Focus Management – To reduce confusion for users, it is required to ensure a predictable order of focus while navigating websites. 
  5. Compatibility with assistive technologies – Ensure seamless integration with screen readers and other assistive aids/technology. 

Why IS 17802 compliance matters? 

Compliance with IS17802 extends beyond mere legal obligation and here’s why Indian businesses should prioritize adherence to this standard: 

  1. Access to untapped markets and demographics 
  2. Expanded customer base 
  3. Reduced legal risks 
  4. Compliance with regulatory standards 
  5. Improved SEO performance 
  6. Enhanced brand reputation 
  7. Enhanced user experience 

Conclusion 

Legal enforcement of IS 17802 standard is a welcome move towards achieving digital inclusion. To know more about IS 17802 and embark on your journey towards creating more accessible digital experiences for your users, reach out to our team at sales@barrierbreak.com. Our team comprises of accessibility experts who are well-versed with WCAG, RPWD, ADA and Section 508 standards and guidelines and can support your business in your effort towards creating a more inclusive digital future.  

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