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The accessibility of digital products. Important for everyone, but especially for people with disabilities.

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Good accessibility

The Internet is basically designed to work for all people, regardless of their skills with hardware, software or language. When the Web meets this objective, it is "accessible," or accessible to people with a variety of hearing, movement, vision and cognitive abilities. We also call this inclusion. However, many Web sites and applications are designed and/or built without attention to accessibility. As a result, they create barriers that exclude people from using digital products. Good accessibility or accessibility is essential for organizations that want to create high-quality websites and web tools, and not restrict people from using their products and services. This is very important, especially considering that we have over 4 million people with disabilities in the Netherlands. In addition, everyone sometimes has to deal with a temporary disability, for example due to stressful situations or a temporary physical impairment.

Presentatie voor een tv scherm met een aantal mensen daaromheen.

Develop for good accessibility

Creating digital products with good accessibility is both a UX and development issue. For this, a standard has been created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C); The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The standard is well maintained and regularly updated. The WCAG contains rules for all facets of a digital product's behavior. From handling audio & video, contrast values, buttons, keyboard input to the use of CAPTCHAs and much more. This also allows digital products to be rated on the level of accessibility (A, AA and AAA). The key is to design and develop with these rules in mind, but more importantly to test against them. For example, during the design phase contrast values can be tested well, during development tools can be used that automatically test for different WCAG criteria and of course it is important to test with target groups with disabilities in qualitative usability testing. This is where we can help you.

Accessibility as a legal requirement

Digital accessibility is required by law for Dutch governments (state, provinces, municipalities and water boards) and institutions in the (semi-)public sector. It is mandatory to meet the requirements of WCAG 2.1, level A and AA. It has been mandatory for the government to make websites accessible since 2008. As of July 1, 2018, this obligation passed into a legal requirement. From 2025, the European Accessibility Act will come into effect. This will place an obligation on good accessibility for a broad collection of (digital) products such as web shops, apps and websites of telecommunication services and transport (including public transport) and interactive (streaming) media services. These must be fully usable by all Europeans, including people with disabilities. Within Europe, the number of people with disabilities is about 135 million. So you too may have to start complying with this!

What can Humanoids help you with?

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