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New public sector websites to improve accessibility for people with disabilities

September 7, 2018 at 10:38am

The cabinet approved a new bill that requires all public institutions to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities by the next two years, Phileleftheros reported on Friday.

The new bill – which required approval from Parliament – obligates all public organisations, including ministries, services, schools, local government and semi-governmental organisations to become compliant with the four principles of web accessibility which are: (a) Perceivability, which means that information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. (b) Operability , which means that user interface components and navigation must be operable. (c) Understandability, which means that information and the operation of user interface must be understandable and (d) robustability, which means that the content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of users.

According to Phileleftheros, the proposed bill is expected to improve the quality of life of elderly people and people with disabilities as it will ensure that they will have equal access to information and services, especially those that deal with issues of health, safety and welfare and will facilitate their participation in decision-making processes and their integration in society.

The bill also includes the creation of a monitoring committee which will oversee the websites and applications of public services and will submit reports to the European Commission, which will be publicised in an accessible format.

Finally, the bill suggests that web accessibility training programs should be created for public sector staff.