A new government resolution was drawn up by the Ministry of Digital Transformation with expert support from the United Nations Development Programme
Websites of Ukrainian state bodies to be made accessible to people with visual or hearing impairments: New Government Resolution
July 25, 2023
Kyiv, 25 July 2023 – Ukraine’s government has adopted a Resolution that obliges state bodies to make all websites web-accessible in accordance with international standards. The order aims to make content on information resources more accessible to people with visual, hearing, or motor impairments.
“The Ministry of Digital Transformation team continues to move towards the goal of building the most convenient state in the world from the point of view of obtaining state services. Online services should be accessible to every Ukrainian,” Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister for Innovation, Development of Education, Science and Technology and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine said. “That’s why, with our partners, we‘ve been working for a long time to increase the web accessibility of all our products and the Diia ecosystem. The adopted Resolution is an important step in building a barrier-free country. From now on, all executive authorities will use a new state standard, according to which they will create content accessible to all people,” Fedorov said.
The new resolution obliges all state institutions to bring their sites, online portals, and applications into compliance with the new state standard on web accessibility, which is based on the WCAG 2.1 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) international recommendations. These guidelines define how to make online content accessible to a wide range of users, in particular for people with visual, hearing or motor impairments.
Among other features, WCAG 2.1 contains rules for sign language translation, text readability features, placement of pictures, and more. Web developers should follow the guidelines when creating online resources.
“UNDP is committed to providing unwavering support to the government in its efforts to protect and create the best conditions for the country’s citizens, in particular, to ensure the barrier-free provision of public services,” Jaco Cilliers, UNDP Ukraine Resident Representative said. “There are 2.7 million people with disabilities in Ukraine. This number only applies to officially registered people, and it will unfortunately only increase due to the war. With the strategic support of Sweden, it was important for us to help the Government promote web accessibility in the country and to work out the solutions that are needed for all these citizens, as well as people with limited mobility, to have access to the necessary public services. After all, disability or temporary impairments should not impede people’s access to the assistance they might need from the state,” Cilliers said.
The resolution was drawn up as part of the National Strategy for the Creation of a Barrier-Free Environment in Ukraine, which was initiated by Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska. Its adoption will help align Ukrainian legislation with international web accessibility standards.
Earlier, in February, the WCAG 2.1 guidelines were translated into Ukrainian for the first time. This is helping Ukrainian developers quickly create online resources for a wide range of users, including people with visual or hearing impairments.
The web accessibility initiatives are implemented within the framework of the project “Digital, Inclusive, Accessible: Support to the Digitalization of Public Services in Ukraine” (DIA Support project), which is implemented by UNDP in Ukraine with the financial support of Sweden.
Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Communications Team Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org
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