A landmark piece of legislation comes into force today (23 September) to help ensure public sector websites are accessible to everyone, including blind and partially sighted people.
The new Web Accessibility Regulations require all websites operated by, or on behalf of, public sector bodies to comply with certain accessibility standards and prove they’ve done so.
“Government Regulations come into force today [23 September] which implement EU legislation requiring all public sector websites to be accessible,” explains Samantha Fothergill, RNIB’s Senior Legal Policy Officer.
“Websites and apps will also have to publish public statements saying they have met certain accessibility standards and, if not, why not. The Regulations aim to ensure public sector websites and mobile apps are accessible to all users, especially those with disabilities. We hear a lot about how inaccessible websites are affecting blind and partially sighted people’s access to information and services, so if the Regulations are properly applied, it would be a major win for people with sight loss!”
You can read more about why these Regulations are so important and our response to them in Samantha's blog post.
“We know that a significant proportion of public sector websites are inaccessible.” Samantha adds.
“We want to make challenging all inaccessible websites a straightforward process so we’ve created a toolkit to support the public in using the Equality Act and the Regulations to call out websites.”
Our new toolkit explains current law as it applies to public and non-public websites as well as changes brought in by the new Regulations. It also outlines the steps you can take to complain about inaccessibility following the recent changes and includes supporting material and letter templates.
In the toolkit you will find:
Information about the Equality Act and how it applies to making sure websites and apps are accessible for blind and partially sighted people.
Information about what the Public Sector Bodies (Website and Mobile Applications) (no 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 mean for making sure public sector websites are accessible for blind and partially sighted people.
Details of how to complain about inaccessible websites and apps.
Example letters to help you to complain.
What to do if the situation is not resolved following your complaint.
A feedback form to let us know whether this toolkit helped and information on signing up to be a campaigner with RNIB.
If you need further support with the toolkit you can call us on 0303 123 9999