Friday, January 1, 2016

Lets proactively ensure that all Indian Government websites conform to WCAG 2.0

Dear Colleagues,

The NIC guidelines known as the "Guidelines for Indian Government Websites (GIGW)" mandate that all Government websites shall conform to the international accessibility standards, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. 

Persons with disabilities use different assistive technologies to browse the web. However, if the websites or documents are not constructed as per the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the assistive technology fails to read them thus barring a person with disability from accessing the website thus rendering the website inaccessible.

India signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2007 and ratified it a few months later. The Member States are, obliged to proactively promote digital inclusion of persons with disabilities. 

Govt. of India has launched Open Government Platform - OGPL To Promote Transparency And Citizen Engagement (www.ogpl.gov.in). OGPL is a joint product from India and United States to promote transparency and greater citizen engagement by making more government data, documents, tools and processes publicly available. This will be available, as an open source platform. By making this available in useful machine-readable formats it allows developers, analysts, media & academia to develop new applications and insights that will help give citizens more information for better decisions. OGPL has become an example of a new era of diplomatic collaborations that benefit the global community that promote government transparency, citizen-focused applications, and enrich humanity.

However, if the WCAG is not implemented, it will render the OGPL movement also futile. It is for each of us to take up the matters of inaccessibility of websites of govt. departments with the state commissioners for persons with disabilities. Visit section on How to write a petition

Here are some useful documents:





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