The Public Administration must guarantee the right of all citizens to accessibility, both in the virtual world and the physical one, independently of whether they suffer from physical, sensorial or cognitive difficulties.
As regards the virtual world, it should also be remembered that disabled users are one the publics most interested in using online services, since they may have mobility problems that hinder them travelling to do paperwork in the administrative offices.
The European Union, in the Council resolution of March 25, 2002, urges the member states to bear in mind the need for digital content to be accessible and, in line with this recommendation, Law 34/2002, of July 11, on information society services and e-commerce, states that the Public Administration should adopt the necessary measures so that information available on its respective Internet sites can be accessed by the disabled and elderly, in accordance with the generally recognised criteria for accessibility to content, before December 31, 2005.
In keeping with this objective, the Basque Government has established that all the web sites or portals dependent on “euskadi.eus”, must comply with at least the first priority level of the WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) guidelines of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium).
Following these guidelines, the design of the new euskadi.eus website has been carried out bearing in mind the accessibility standards of the aforementioned WAI initiative.
Therefore, the programming and layout of the pages has been done using XHTML and CSS2 language codes, via which their usability is improved, for both disabled and non-disabled visitors alike. By using these languages we also achieve clearer and more consistent navigation, independently of the type of software used to view the pages.
The main measures adopted to improve accessibility include the following:
- Images. Alternative versions have been included in text mode.
- Text size. The fonts used have relative dimensions, so that the user can control their size from the browser that is being used.
However, a considerable amount of the pre-existing content from the previous version of euskadi.eus does not fulfil some of the accessibility standards. Some of it has already been corrected in the phase of migration to the new euskadi.eus. The adaptation of the remaining content, so as to finally make all of it accessible, will be carried out gradually over the coming months, following a pattern of continuous improvement of the accessibility to the information and services offered by euskadi.eus.