This page is for anyone interested in creating digital media that are accessible to the widest possible audience.
It also contains the required compliance specifications for organisations that create digital media in the context of FIRAH-funded activities, such as applied research and other projects.
DEFINITION OF DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY
Digital accessibility means making digital resources available to everyone, regardless of equipment or software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location or physical or cognitive aptitudes. It applies to all IT and communication technology. Digital accessibility covers a wide range of technologies and domains such as the Internet, software applications, various devices (computers, mobile phones, etc.), videos, Office and PDF documents, digital television and smart objects, etc. It takes into account developments in services and technologies.
Digital accessibility addresses all disabilities that affect access to digital materials. This includes users with visual, auditory, motor, speech, cognitive or neurological disabilities. But above all, digital accessibility is an asset for all users.
Accessibility, an advantage for all, a necessity for some!
In short, digital accessibility is a digital service or document that can be used by everyone:
- Non-disabled persons
- Persons with disabilities (temporary or permanent),
and in any context:
- Using all types of equipment: browsers, PC, Mac, mobile phones, tablets
- In difficult contexts: low lighting conditions, touchpad in motion, etc.
- With specific software designed to assist with disabilities.
DIGITAL MEDIA ACCESSIBILITY OBJECTIVE
For online content and regardless of the type of equipment (computer, mobile, tablet, TV, etc.) and technology used, the Foundation's accessibility objective is the AA standard defined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1.
In 1996, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) launched the Web Accessibility Initiative - WAI, in order to improve the accessibility of online content. The WAI has issued recommendations entitled Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (currently on version 2.1) which constitute the international accessibility standard.
For other technologies, please refer the best practices proposed for these technologies. We suggest consulting Orange's* accessibility recommendations for more details on implementing accessibility:
- designing or developing a website
- Native iOS and Android applications
- Creating PDF and text documents, presentations, audio/video files etc.
Careful attention must be paid to:
- Compliance in terms of the colour contrast between the content and background.
- Compatibility with accessibility tools (screen reader programmes such as Jaws and NVDA; font size modification systems such as software magnifying glasses).
- Keyboard accessibility ([Tab], [Enter] keys, etc.).
In addition to ensuring compliance with current standards and best practices, we recommend that you co-develop your application media with your target audience and have your audience test them. This will ensure that there are no lingering glitches or inaccessible content for your target audience, and particularly for people with disabilities.
FIRAH'S VERIFICATION OF DIGITAL TOOLS CREATED IN THE CONTEXT OF ACTIVITIES FINANCED BY THE FOUNDATION
FIRAH verifies compliance with the accessibility referential for all digital application media.
Two types of tests are carried out:
- The technical assessment consists in inspecting the code or structure of the component as well as the colour contrast to measure compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA standards or equivalent.
- The functional assessment consists in testing the component's operation with 3 accessibility tool categories in order to verify that the content assessed is free of glitches (NVDA and Jaws speech synthesizer; Windows or Zoomtext magnifying glass; keyboard navigation).
* Orange is a Foundation partner and contributes to facilitating accessibility. In fact, Orange has created a free, open-source website accessible to everyone that explains in plain language the standards, best practices, tools etc. for digital accessibility.
EASE, « E-Accessibility Solutions for Everyone » is the competence centre of Orange, dedicated to digital accessibility.