Accessibility Statement Requirement — What Does It Mean?

A widely publicized law has come into force: from February 1, 2023, all public websites are obliged to publish a so-called accessibility statement. The Supervisory Authority for the Universal Design of ICT called it “an anniversary for Norway”. What is it?

- Universal design It's basically about everyone having the ability to use a website, regardless of its functionality. The new thing is that this has gone from “nice to have” to “need to have”. We at Increo are happy about that, says UU enthusiast and UX designer Tone.

Best for as many people as possible

Because not only does universal design ensure that websites become more accessible to the visually impaired and others with disabilities — they are better for everyone.

“It boils down to creating the best possible user experience. And when you also take into account those who have other prerequisites for using a website, the experience becomes better for everyone. I think that's pretty cool, and not the least important,” explains Tone.

So when all government websites are now required by law to publish an accessibility statement, it's not because the UU oversight is out to “grab some.”

“The long-term goal is for all websites to be really good, simple and straightforward. In this sense, the accessibility statement is both a kick in the back and a guideline,” she says.

A stamp of quality

But what exactly does such a declaration contain? In short, it consists of a list of 47 points that together should ensure accessibility for all. These points can range from color contrasts and responsive text size to requirements for seamless contact form and image descriptions for screen reader users.

“It is important to say that it is not illegal to have errors or missing a period in the future, but you should disclose them in the declaration. If you do not have an accessibility statement at all, on the other hand, you can get an injunction for rectification or a fine.

In Increo, web pages are created on the basis of these 47 points, Tone can tell. Public purchasers can thus know that the website is delivered in line with the requirements for universal design.

“Here we use the Accessibility Statement as a quality stamp. It's a solid to-do list for how to create a great user experience for everyone.

In overtime

However, for the UX designer, it is important that Increo's public customers gain ownership of the website's accessibility.

“We want to give people the best possible starting point to follow this up over time. It starts with having a conscious relationship with universal design. When our customers receive their accessibility statement, they gain ownership and proximity to their website, as well as good advice along the way,” she says.

Tone believes the new legislation will be a kind of starting shot for a broad replacement of aft sailed sites. Some will choose to update, others will rethink.

“For many, it will probably be both easier and less expensive to create something completely new than to start updating old websites in line with the 47 points. But the most important thing is that you do something,” she says, concluding:

“It's basically a long way in overtime that everyone has the same experience of websites, regardless of functionality.

What can we help you with?

Morten M Wikstrøm
Morten M Wikstrøm
CEO, Consulting
976 90 017
Sebastian Krohn
Sebastian Krohn
Agency Manager, Consulting
988 00 306

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