Presentation on theme: "Florence - Sep 1st, 2009 1 AAATE 2009 Conference Special Session on Web Accessibility Steven Sintini"— Presentation transcript:
Florence - Sep 1st, AAATE 2009 Conference Special Session on Web Accessibility Steven Sintini
Florence - Sep 1st, Fostering web accessibility in Italy 1 The Italian legislation addressing eAccessibility
Florence - Sep 1st, Writing a law on eAccessibility In Italy, the issue of accessibility had been addressed since 2001 but, despite various directives, the enforcement of those policies was widely disregarded: there was the need to write a law expressing clear obligations and responsibilities. During 2003, EU year of people with disabilities, eight bills supported by politicians of various parties in the Parliament and the three bills coming from the Senate all came together in a single law. Law n. 4/2004 was voted unanimously in both houses of Parliament and published in January 2004.
Florence - Sep 1st, Rights and duties The principle: everyone has the right to share the benefits provided by the Information Society and the eGovernment policies. Public administrations have the duty to provide accessible information and services (and private subjects are invited to do likewise). The accessibility requirements must be taken into account in public procurement of ICT. The enforcement of the law must be monitored and fostered at national and local level.
Florence - Sep 1st, Fostering web accessibility in Italy 2 Public procurement of accessible ICT
Florence - Sep 1st, Accessible eProcurement: the principles Article 4 of Law 4/2004 points out the obligations and duties regarding accessibility and inclusion in the case of public procurement of IT goods and services. When purchasing ICT goods and services, signing contracts regarding their development and maintenance or carrying out competitive tenders, the accessibility requirements must always be taken into consideration. Any stipulated contract failing to respect such mechanism may be declared null and void and this may also entail both executive responsibilities and disciplinary actions, as well as civil liability provided for by the current anti-discrimination laws (article 9).
Florence - Sep 1st, Accessible eProcurement: two levels of obligation 1) On one hand, the compliance with the accessibility requirements is mandatory for public Web sites (and in general for Web applications) and whenever private or public subjects draw on public grants for the procurement of ICT equipment and tools explicitly meant for disabled users or workers. 2) In every other case of competitive tender regarding IT procurement, the administration must simply give preference to the bidder which offers the best compliance with the accessibility requirements in the event of similar technical offers. Public agencies must eventually provide an adequate justification for not taking the accessibility requirements into account or for buying a product that fails to reach compliance.
Florence - Sep 1st, Web accessibility assessment policies Key concepts: There is a first, measurable accessibility threshold clearly marked by the 22 technical requirements listed in Annex A of the Ministerial Decree July 8, Compliance with these requirements guarantees an almost full WCAG-AA accessibility level. Along with the requirements comes an accurate assessment methodology. Public Administrations autonomously assess their compliance with the accessibility requirements. There is a list of private accessibility evaluators trusted by CNIPA; private or public subjects may ask one of these evaluators for a third-party assessment.
Florence - Sep 1st, Fostering web accessibility in Italy 3 Monitoring the enforcement and fostering the culture of eAccessibility
Florence - Sep 1st, Fostering the enforcement Since the Law came into force, public agencies became more sensitive to the problem and many of them are planning to modify, or have already updated, their institutional Web sites and services. CNIPA monitored dozens of central administration Web sites to aid and coordinate their adjustment thanks to the collaboration of some of the most skilled Italian web developers. Almost 550 Web sites belonging to central and local agencies display the Italian accessibility mark and hundreds more are strongly accessibility-oriented even if not 100% compliant with the requirements.
Florence - Sep 1st, The culture of accessibility The compulsiveness of the legislative approach seems to be effective even because it is supported by a strong campaign of information, training and sensitization. CNIPA provides technical and legislative assistance to public administrations and has set up accessibility courses for officers, editors and webmasters of public web sites. CNIPA, IWA and many Public Agencies and Universities have organized and taken part in several seminars, events and workshops explaining the benefits of accessibility.
Florence - Sep 1st, The benefits of accessibility Fulfill legal obligation and reduce legal liability Demonstrate social responsibility Increase market share and audience reach Improve efficiency and reduce website maintenance Be ready for the future of the Internet Obtain higher search engine ranking
Florence - Sep 1st, For further information The Italian institutional website on accessibility: