Everyone who works in a government organisation (such as this university) needs to understand what digital accessibility means. It is the responsibility of every employee that the University meets the requirements of the Act on the Accessibility of Digital Public Services. As an individual employee, you must ensure that all the material you produce is accessible.
This page provides guidelines on how you can create accessible digital content at Dalarna University. It talks about the following:
- legal requirements that affect Dalarna University
- other reasons to invest in accessibility
- information about publishing accessible content
The requirements for accessibility adaptation pertain to all digital platforms and apps according to the Act. The Dalarna University website, its social media accounts and its published content have had to meet the requirements of the Act since September 23, 2020; other web-based systems that have public access must also meet the requirements. This is also the case both with other web-based internal and external systems that have come into use since September 23, 2019, and also with apps that have come into use since June 23, 2021.
According to law, all extranets and other web-based internal and external systems, such as learning platforms and their content, must also be designed so that they meet the requirements of accessibility. There is no set time by which everything must be accessible; however, whenever, for example, websites and apps undergo significant work, this is when they must be made accessible. Content that is to be preserved for the duration in our extranets must therefore be quickly reworked and adapted ahead of such time that they must meet the requirements of the Act. The public parts of our learning platform Learn have had to meet the requirements of the Act since September 23, 2020.
It is important that you think about how to make your information accessible. For example, the owner of a document or media (sound, image, video) that is uploaded and published in a platform is responsible for ensuring that it is accessible.
The system manager has overall responsibility for ensuring that the platform complies with laws, guidelines and internal governing documents both in technical terms and in functionality. Measures to ensure accessibility must be addressed in the respective management plan.
Accessibility must always be a consideration when the University procures a new system.
The Accessibility to Digital Public Service Act (DOS) requires digital content to be:
- possible to perceive, regardless of any impairment of, for example, vision or hearing
- manageable, i.e., possible to interact with
- robust, that is to say, be able to be used with a wide range of different user programs, such as browsers or technical aids
The recommended way to achieve these principles is to follow the relevant parts of the European standard EN301549. In general, this corresponds to the standard Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) at level AA.
In practice, this means that we must meet about 60 accessibility criteria.
In addition, we must publish an accessibility report for our website. The report describes the accessibility status of our websites and indicates contact paths where users can get in touch if they have problems or need help. We need to have the resources to help anyone who contacts us.
Reasons To Invest in Accessibility
In addition to the requirements set out in the Act, there are several other laws that address accessibility. There are also many reasons why it is worth investing in digital accessibility, not least the following:
- Accessibility is essential for some people if they are to further their education.
- Accessibility often contributes to increased usability and a better experience for all users.
- Accessibility means that our digital initiatives have a greater effect and that we reach more people.
The Basics in 15 Minutes (KTH Film)
The Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH) has produced a 15-minute information film that both covers legal requirements and arguments, as well as provides concrete examples.
Publishing Accessible Content
For everyone at the University who creates digital content, we recommend you read these pages:
- General Guidelines for Accessible Documents (Swedish webpage)
- General Guidelines for Accessible Films (Swedish webpage)
For you as web content owner, we recommend that you view these webpages:
- Writing for the Web (Swedish webpage)
- Content Manual for Standard Webpages on du.se (Swedish webpage)
For in-depth information, see the University’s educational resource on digital accessibility that is available in Learn. This is useful for everyone at the University, not least teaching staff.
Guests can also access this resource using a guest link.