Accessibility

Accessibility of government websites: What exactly is it?

Millions of people in the Netherlands are living with one or more disabilities, you wouldn't want to exclude them from being able to use your website. It is important to have an accessible website that is inclusive to everyone, young and old, people with a disability as well as people without. Additionally, from 2025 there will be a legal obligation put in place based on the European Accessibility Act. What constitutes as an accessible website and the European Accessibility Act is further described below. This blog also explains what you can do now, so that you are not faced with problems in the near future.

What is an accessible website?

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has developed guidelines to constitute what an accessible website entails. This is established in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The four accessibility requirements are listed below: 

  1. Observable, every website visitor must be able to perceive the content. It is important that you offer the content on your website in different ways. 
  2. Operable, the website should be easy to operate and navigate through.
  3. Understandable, the text used must be understandable and clearly legible. Interactive components (such as buttons) must also perform a predictable action. 
  4. Robust, the browser must be able to read the code of the website easily and quickly, so that all functionalities can be used. 

Ultimately, the goal is to make your website accessible to everyone. In addition, having an accessible website can also have the advantage of leads amounting to 15% more customers.

What does the European Accessibility Act mean?

The European Accessibility Act (EAA) is a European regulation for digital accessibility, making websites and other digital products/services available to everyone. The EAA's guidelines will be based on WCAG. So you can start following those guidelines now.

You will have until 2025 to legally make your website digitally accessible. That may seem like a long time away, but it's always better to start now. Ultimately, the Dutch government will enforce the legislation, but it's important to note that not every business will be affected. Some companies may be exempt from this legislation, for example smaller companies.

How do you make a website accessible?

As discussed earlier, it is important to follow WCAG guidelines. Here are a few tips that you can follow to make your website accessible:

Observable

  • Provide text alternatives to non-text content.
  • Add captions to multimedia or provide another alternative.
  • Ensure your content can be displayed in different ways, for example an option for a simple layout. 
  • Make it easier for users to see and hear content from your website. Take color contrast and audio control into account here.

Operable

  • Ensure the website is operable from the keyboard.
  • Keep in mind the time users will have to read the content.
  • Do not use content that causes seizures or physical reactions. For example, don't use animation with intense flashes.
  • Make sure the visitor can easily use the website through different inputs in addition to the keyboard.

Understandable 

  • Provide text and content that is legible. 
  • Ensure website content works predictably. For example, a submit button at the end of a form that submits the information from the form. 
  • Help users correct and avoid mistakes. For example, indicating an error when entering a form incorrectly.

Robust

  • Make sure the website code is easy to read. You do this by completing your HTML, the start and end tags must be correct and all id's must be unique.

Do you need help making your website accessible? 

Contact us

Get to know more?

Could you use some help optimizing your marketing, CRM, HubSpot environment, or your sales, marketing and service processes? Then schedule a free, no-obligation call with Ron for 30 minutes of advice.

Schedule a free online meeting
  • Personal advice
  • Good tips that help you further
  • Without charge
ron-dukker

Ron Dukker