Some 52% of Danish government websites are not fully accessible to citizens with disabilities, new research has revealed, in the latest blow for hopes of Europe-wide accessibility improvements.
Conducted on behalf of the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, a survey by Sensus – a Danish consulting company specialising in accessibility, IT and disability – assessed 226 government websites against international Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0)
The results of the survey are another setback to the goal set at a ministerial conference of EU member states in 2006 of all EU government websites becoming fully accessible by the end of 2010. It is now expected that not one state will hit this target.
The Danish ministry now plans to launch an e-learning tool in 2011 featuring guidance on creating more accessible websites and documents.
In the UK, guidance from the Central Office of Information on ‘delivering inclusive websites’ ( www.coi.gov.uk/guidance.php?page=131 )
in 2008 stating that all government websites should have conformed to international ‘AA’ standards by 2011. However, the public sector Society of IT Management’s annual ‘Better Connected’ review of every UK council website, published earlier this year, found only 32 of 479 sites achieved even basic accessibility levels (see E-Access Bulletin, March 2010