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An illustration of all the ways a website needs to be accessible

Did you meet the September WCAG Accessibility Compliance deadline?


WCAG Accessibility Compliance outlined that on 23 September it became a legal requirement for all public sector websites that were created before September 23, 2018, to comply with new accessibility rules. Indeed, those websites going live after this date are expected to be compliant from the get-go.

What is compliance?

Specifically, all public sector sites need to have an accessibility statement, a means of contacting the organisation about any accessibility issues and they must meet the WCAG 2.1 standards to AA level.

Why is accessibility important?

Most, if not all of us, will interact with our government at some point, in some way. This could be paying your council tax, registering to vote or using some other service. It's vital people can access these services that are pretty critical to our day-to-day lives. This means accessibility is not a simple nice-to-have. We need it.

The word accessible on a bold background

And simply knowing this isn't enough. In fact, Accessibility should be folded into everything the organisation does, particularly in times where the government is going digital-by-default.

What happens next?

Following this, the GDS (Government Digital Service) has the responsibility to monitor public sector websites. Consequently, in doing this, the GDS must work with various bodies like the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Equality Commission (Northern Ireland) to decide what's needed next as a priority.

The GDS regularly offers support through webinars and other useful content. As an agency, we're devoted to helping the public sector and we can give expert and practical advice on how to improve the accessibility of your website and digital services.

Contact us for a chat.

Note - June 2021 is the next deadline for mobile applications

Therefore, come June 23, 2021, every single public sector mobile app must also be accessible. Firstly, get this into your plans now and undertake an audit in the first instance. Subsequently, this will highlight any accessibility issues you have and should detail how to fix them.