Inform

The e-accessibility association is committed to providing clear and useful information for all on the subject of digital accessibility and disability.

Digital accessibility

Accessibility establishes convenience and improvement in quality of access to information by all citizens, regardless of whether they are disabled or not. Beyond legislation, which requires accessible public websites, digital accessibility involves major social, ethical, qualitative, organisational and financial challenges.

A disabled person’s access to a website is a social challenge concerning the right to information. A universal medium, the Internet is used by many companies and individuals throughout the world and this treasure must be accessible to all.

The challenges

Currently, most websites are created without any concern for disability. These sites contain many strange features which make it difficult for them to be used and these functional limitations prevent millions of people from using the Web.

An accessible Web must be designed so that all people are able to perceive, understand, navigate and interact effectively with the Web, and also create content and make their own contribution to the Web.

Disabilities related to the reality of the Internet
Disability Obstacles related to a website
Visual
  1. PDF publication inaccessible
  2. Pictures without a textual description
  3. Identical links on the same page
  4. Very low colour contrast
Audio
  1. Sound signals without legends
  2. Video clips without text subtitles
Motor
  1. Lack of keyboard adaptation
  2. Simultaneous keyboard and mouse manipulations
Cognitive
  1. Bad use of a page’s structural elements
  2. Lack of consistent structure for navigation

We often think of the Web as an accessory, but when a person suffers from a disability, his daily life changes and it becomes difficult to be able to use the Internet. Obtaining information other than via the Internet is difficult for the disabled.

Standards

To that end, the WAI has produced international accessibility guidelines WCAG. This document brings together a series of recommendations and specific advice in order to make a website accessible. The criteria are broken down according to three levels of priority (from Simple-A, the most important points to check, the Triple-A, the most secondary points).

e-accessibility recommends the streamlining of accessibility standards between countries, in order to make accessibility policies more effective and clearer. Internet creation tools are international and it is not possible to adapt Web applications to each country.

The different international standards
Priority Scope Accessiblity level Example
1 Removes obstacles to accessing content Level A
(compliance with priority 1 control points)
All information conveyed by colour is also perceptible without colour
2 Lève d’autres barrières significatives Level AA
(compliance with priority 1 and 2 control points)
Any change in the Web page’s language (in French for example) is clearly indicated in the HTML code
3 Améliore le confort d’accès Level AAA
(compliance with priority 1,2 and 3 control points)
Acronyms are completed by a textual description (CSR: “Corporate Social Responsibility)

The different Disability laws around the world

Disability laws around the world
Country Law Obligation of accessibility of public websites Obligation of accessibility of private websites
France Law of 11 February 2005(new window, french) Yes Only HR section
United States Section 508(new window) Yes Only HR section
Britain Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (new window) Yes Yes
Japan Law of 12 February 2003(new window) Yes No
Belgium Law of 25 February 2003(new window) Yes No

The role of the disability service

The disability service is a specific human resources department which is related to a company’s social relations. The disability service manager must implement and monitor the application of the law concerning the obligation to employ disabled workers within his company.

Digital techniques must create employment. The disability service must support the disabled in their professional integration. The disability service is a source of professional development for the disabled. The promotion of digital skills is effective when the social impacts are quantifiable, meaning employment creation and professional integration.

Our actions aim to support the disabled in their personal development and their personal development through self-fulfilment in order that they are able to prepare themselves for their professional environment.

Escaping disability first of all means providing the means to lessen their deficiencies.

Environmental protection

Digital techniques are an effective solution for meeting the needs of visual and motor deficiencies. Ecological computer experts work to reduce environmental divides through the virtualisation of consumer goods. Digital techniques offer solutions which help to reduce the consumption of paper, dyes, energy, CO2.

The development of electronic exchanges, thanks to the virtualisation of computer infrastructure and applications, help to progress towards the development of eco-responsible computing and the reduction of costs. The development of electronic exchanges consists of sending original, signed and secure documents by computer. In this way, it is possible to avoid wasting thousands of pages of paper.

Above all, accessible solutions involve very high quality digital technologies. The move from paper Braille to digital Braille with the use of accessible PDF, is just one example of useful and effective digitalisation. These solutions take account of processes such as “Print on demand”, a printing mode designed to provide rarely requested works without delay. Its specific feature compared to general printing and digital printing is that print-runs are not scheduled in advance, but triggered directly by the customer’s order.

Above all, digital accessibility is a way of mind rather than just about creating soulless technologies.