UNDP publishes a digital manual on how to create accessible texts and sites

A “Brief Digital Accessibility Manual” offers essential tips to help anyone improve the accessibility of their online content

December 1, 2023
Photo: Andrii Krepkykh / UNDP in Ukraine

Kyiv, 1 December 2023 – The United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine (UNDP) has drawn up a guide that will help increase the web accessibility of online content, with the manual now posted on the UNDP website for free use.

The “Brief Digital Accessibility Manual” provides basic advice on the rules for creating accessible texts, sites and publications. When followed, the recommendations make it possible for people with visual, hearing or motor impairments to use online products.

The guide will be especially useful for designers, site developers, SMM specialists, videographers, government officials who create web content, and anyone who wants to learn more about how to create accessible web content.

Mstyslav Banik, the head of Digital Services Development at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, says that enhancing the accessibility of state web products is one of the key areas of the ministry’s work.

By creating electronic services, we aim to do that all will be able to use them, regardless of temporary or permanent disabilities,” Banik said. “We believe that web accessibility should be at the heart of any web product during its development. This is especially important given that the number of people with disabilities due to war will unfortunately only increase. Therefore, we must create conditions so that all people in the country have unhindered access to information and services online.

The manual was based on the thematic educational series “Web accessibility,” which the Ministry of Digital Transformation, with the support of UNDP and Sweden, developed earlier for the Diia.Osvita educational portal.

Christophoros Politis, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Ukraine, said that the Ministry of Digital Transformation, with the support of UNDP and the Swedish government, has implemented a several significant legislative changes in recent years. Among them is the adoption of new state standards on web accessibility, a government resolution to ensure their use, and the first official translation of international guidelines.

We’re happy to see that the Ukrainian government, particularly under the leadership of the Ministry of Digital Transformation, is paying significant attention to ensuring web accessibility in the country, and we’re proud to be a part of these efforts,” Politis said. “It’s important that this work is not limited to the state, but that businesses and the private sector, also apply these web accessibility requirements to their online resources. This will make it possible to create a truly universally accessible web space in Ukraine, leaving no one behind.”

Previously, the new state standard for digital accessibility, developed by the Ministry of Digital Transformation and UNDP, with financial support from the Government of Sweden, entered into force in June 2022. Subsequently, in July 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a resolution that made the standard mandatory for implementation by state bodies. Its adoption will help bring Ukrainian legislation closer to international web accessibility standards. UNDP also officially translated the WCAG 2.1 international web accessibility guidelines into Ukrainian for the first time.

All the above-mentioned web accessibility initiatives are being implemented by the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine with the assistance of the “Digital, Inclusive, Accessible: Support for the Digitization of Public Services in Ukraine” project (DIA Support Project), which UNDP in Ukraine is implementing with financial support from Sweden.

Media inquiries

Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Communications Team Leader, yuliia.samus@undp.org