The level of accessibility of public administration’s websites is at 36% – informed the Widzialni Foundation in the just published Accessibility Report 2021. The report was presented at an online conference entitled “Report 2021: Accessibility and usability of websites and digital documents”, which took place on January 13th, 2022.

The aim of the annual survey is to monitor the accessibility of public sector institutions’ websites in terms of compliance with the WCAG standard. This year, the analysis was extended by two new elements: website usability as well as accessibility and readability of PDF documents.

This year’s edition examined 50 websites of public administration institutions, in particular those in the domain, as well as those of city halls of the largest Polish cities. The report did not include portals of ministries, which were analyzed in previous years.

In the report, accessibility experts of the Widzialni Foundation pointed out errors on websites and in digital documents of public institutions. They also shared suggestions for changes (often simple to make), the implementation of which would bring a significant improvement in the accessibility and usability of the website.

Current legislation in Poland requires public entities, including public universities, to adjust their websites and mobile apps accordingly with the accessibility standards. Soon accessibility will become a legal obligation that will also affect other sectors, because of the implementation of the European Accessibility Act into Polish law. The Act will extend the obligation to provide accessibility also to private entities, such as companies and, very likely, non-public higher education institutions.

The website of the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy states that the adoption of the European Accessibility Act will oblige these entities to enable persons with special needs to use digitally accessible electronic communication services, audiovisual materials or e-books, as well as other products and services assessed as essential for the free functioning of persons with disabilities in everyday life.

We invite representatives of the universities to peruse the report – it’s a great guide which explains what elements of the website you should pay attention to and will make it easier to ensure the accessibility of your university websites according to the accepted regulations and standards.

Accessibility Report 2021 is available on the Widzialni Foundation website.