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Accessibility in an organisation: the European Commission's approach and commitment

Written by Sophie Ragas on 1 February 2023 (Average reading time: 2 minutes)

The communication department of the European Commission has presented its Web Accessibility Action plan 2022–2025. This is aimed at improving the accessibility of the websites of the European Commission and other European institutions. What is in that plan and how are they going to go about it?

The Web Accessibility Action Plan contains both ongoing and new agreements. With this, the European Commission wants to reaffirm its commitment to digital accessibility and be transparent about how they want to achieve the following goals:

  • Ensure that its own website (including websites, mobile apps and social media content, both external and internal) is accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • Support all departments that create and manage online content in achieving that goal.
  • Encourage the exchange and harmonization of findings between all EU institutions and bodies, so that the entire administrative machinery complies with the (applicable) standards.

Feedback and accessibility statements

The European Commission will set up a feedback mechanism for visitors to report problems. Every site and service must receive an accessibility statement and a template is drawn up to help everyone with this internally.

Controllers must be able to provide an accessibility assessment before publishing a website. All this must be operational and visible by the end of 2022 so that by the end of 2023 every site has an accessibility statement.

Monitoring and enforcement

Once accessible, you want it to stay that way. That is why monitoring and enforcement is an important pillar in the action plan. The European Commission's communications department will monitor a group of websites every year and wants to develop a schedule to move to regular monitoring. Furthermore, investments will be made in training and internal attention of the importance of digital accessibility. A task force was recently set up for this purpose. They want to include accessibility from the start of a project and every site or app must eventually be able to submit increasingly better scores.

An action plan for your organization?

Fortunately, the European Commission's communications department is not alone in facing this important challenge. Behind the scenes, the content experts of Eleven Ways have worked hard over the past year and contributed to this action plan. We are therefore proud of the result and look forward to taking the next steps together.

Are you (for example as a government) also looking for a strategic partner to help shape an action plan? Contact us without obligation. We are very keen to put the experience we have built up over the past few years thanks to this intensive cooperation with the European Commission at the service of other organisations.

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