July 22, 2019 09:30

Have you made your web site accessible?

in: Accessibility
by: Anton Manukov

In the recent years, the issue of accessibility has been gaining momentum and reaching the Internet world. Recently, there has been a change in approach among programmers and publishers in the establishment of applications and sites that are more accessible to people with disabilities. Technologies and advanced standards have opened a new page in the world of development and these allow equal access to the Internet. This is a positive trend that, over time, raises the bar and standards in the development of applications and sites. Populations which previously could not fully enjoy browsing experience, today can.


To who and why should your web site made accessible?

So who are those disabled people who need your site accessible?
In Israel today, about 18% have some type of disability. The State of Israel does quite a bit to benefit these populations in the legislative and enforcement spheres.

At the end of 2013, the state of Israel lined up with many countries, and it is legally required to make your website accessibile in Israel. There is a specific and detailed section - section 35 of the accessibility regulations under the equal rights for people with disabilities law. This law is an important part of the struggle to stop discrimination against populations with disabilities.

There are physical and sensory limitations (visual and hearing impairments), mental disabilities, and more. These populations need accessible and easy-to-use applications and sites so that they can enjoy the service that publishers and companies offer.
Equal access to the Internet is an important and justified goal. In such a virtual world today, the violation of this right causes great discrimination against people with disabilities. This is a large and diverse group of potential customers interested in realizing the purpose of the sites or applications, whether it is a product purchase or viewing the content offered, such as a video or an article.



Who needs to make the site accessible?

In the web world, each site and app has its own target users, depending on the topics, products, or content it offers. Among these users, there is always a significant percentage of those with disabilities. Accordingly, each site and application, regardless of the law, should be accessible for the convenience of its customers and to be exposed to all potential users. However, by the Israeli law, only certain types of sites and applications have this obligation.

Which are the sites to whom the obligation of accessibility applies?
According to the regulations, each site that provides public service or information, such as public authorities (ports, government offices, etc.) and businesses of all kinds, are obligated to comply with accessibility regulations. Currently, web sites that have not yet made accessible or newly established web sites are required by law to be made accessible.



How to actually make accessible website or app?

In the Internet world, accessibility refers to the user's interaction with the site and its ability to get information from the site. The accessibility of the site consists of several main parameters, including reading texts and explanations on the site, navigation and access to the various elements appearing on the site, textual alternatives to video and / or audio, matching the colors of the site to visually impaired people (eg Daltonism), and more. The bottom line is finding simple and convenient solutions for all people with disabilities.

The global accessibility standard is divided into 3 standard levels in ascending order, marked as A, AA, and AAA. Each standard level includes the previous levels and is essentially a guide to how the site should behave.

Each accessible site will specify the standard by which it was made accessible and offer users convenient options to help users with disabilities adapt the site to their needs.
In Israel, any site that must be accessible by law must comply with the AA standard, and it is recommended that the rest of the sites comply with the A standard.


Want to make the site accessible?
Accessibility seems like a difficult and complex process, but it is not.
70% of the site's accessibility process depends on how the site was built and the content presented to the user. In most cases, maintaining the logical order and building a site in accordance with W3C guidelines will meet most of the requirements of level A standard.

You do not understand in building web sites or want a higher level standard? This is also not a problem. Today, many companies deal with the accessibility of sites, such as Nagish Plus. Most of these companies have extensive knowledge of site development and accessibility of existing sites. Companies that deal with site accessibility generally offer accessibility at the AA level. Moreover, these companies offer a wide range of tools that enable you to quickly and easily make every site accessible.


Do not want to make the site accessible?

You should know that sites that are legally required to be accessible and are not, can be fined and punished in accordance with the law.
What are the sanctions in Israel? In addition to the fact that the site will not be exposed to potential users, a civil claim can be filed against the site owner and he must be compensated up to NIS 50,000 without proof of damage. In exceptional cases, criminal proceedings may also include fines of up to NIS 150,600. According to the law, the court is entitled to order termination of business for a period of time the court determined.
Israeli law worsens with those who violate the right to equality and joins the struggle of those with disabilities in discrimination.


Make your website accessible today and enjoy more satisfied users.