France has updated its guidelines on the accessibility of public administration’ websites. The rules now include recommendations on the use of modern web technologies (HTML5) and come with improved tools for testing website accessibility. The website for the guidelines itself has also been revamped, providing easier access to the documentation.
The ‘Référentiel Général d'Accessibilité pour les Administrations’ (RGAA) guidelines is maintained by DISIC, France’s inter-ministerial Directorate for IT. The third version “is a major upgrade from the previous version, which dated from 2009”, DISIC writes in its announcement. By enabling online consultation of the RGAA through tools that allow users to filter, export and compare texts, DISIC hopes to contribute to a better use of the guideline. To promote the updating of the RGAA, it is now possible to leave comments on the technical reference criteria. “This helps to make digital accessibility everyone's business”, DISIC writes.
The RGAA guidelines were officially approved by government decree on 29 April.
Between July and September 2014, DISIC worked together with AccessiWeb, a working group of 503 experts in online accessibility, including representatives from public administrations, IT companies and non-governmental organisations for the visually impaired. The draft text was opened for scrutiny to the general public, gathering over one hundred comments.
To promote the RGAA relaunch, DISIC also launched a label to be added to sites that pass at least one of five levels of tests. The ‘eAccessible RGAA’ logo aims to reward public administrations that create and maintain accessible websites.