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Retailers, Take Note: Putting a Price Tag on Lack of Digital Accessibility

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The Click-Away Pound Survey studied online shopping in the United Kingdom by customers with disabilities. The 2016 report revealed some startling numbers: 71% of disabled shoppers will click away from your website if it is too difficult to use. The majority (81%) of these consumers will pay more money for the same item on a competitor’s website if that site is more accessible. These “click-away” customers accounted for around 10% of UK online shopping revenue in 2016—roughly £75 billion in the UK alone. Bringing your websites and apps into compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 is the… Read More

EU Directive 2016/2102/EU: What is Covered?

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European Union Directive 2016/2102/EU, creating a set of standards for EU public sector bodies, was approved on October 26, 2016. But what exactly is covered under the Directive? Let’s talk about what is covered as well as some notable exclusions from the Directive. What is Covered? The Directive applies to websites and mobile applications under the control of public sector bodies. Public sector bodies are defined in the Directive as bodies governed by public law, including State, regional, and local authorities. Public sector bodies also include associations formed by those authorities, if the associations are formed for fulfilling general interest… Read More

EU Directive 2016/2102/EU: The Private Sector

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European Union Directive 2016/2102/EU, creating a set of standards for EU public sector bodies, was approved on October 26, 2016. The Directive explicitly affects public sector bodies, but the private sector may also be impacted by the Directive. The Directive encourages Member States to extend the Directive to private entities that offer facilities and services which are open or provided to the public. Some examples of industries that provide services to the public include: healthcare; childcare; social inclusion; social security; and electronic communication. The Directive also calls attention to services referred to in Directive 2014/25/EU, which creates standardized procurement rules… Read More

EU Directive 2016/2102/EU: Important Dates and Deadlines

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European Union Directive 2016/2102/EU, creating a set of standards for EU public sector bodies to make public sector websites and mobile applications more accessible across the EU, was approved on October 26, 2016, and was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on December 2, 2016. The Directive entered into force on the 20th day following its publication (December 22, 2016). The Member States will see the following deadlines: By September 22, 2018, Member States must enact laws, regulations, and administrative provisions that implement the requirements. By this date, Member States must also inform the European Commission (“the… Read More

EU Directive 2016/2102/EU: Technical Standards

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European Union Directive 2016/2102/EU, creating a set of standards for EU public sector bodies, was approved on October 26, 2016. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the technical standards that websites and apps are required to meet. The Requirements For the functional accessibility requirements for information and communications technology products and services, the European standardization organizations have adopted European standard EN 301 549 V1.1.2 (2015-04). The standard can be used in public procurement or to support other policies and legislation. The accessibility requirements in the Directive conform with clauses 9, 10, and 11 of the standard. The commission has the power to easily… Read More

EU Directive 2016/2102/EU: Member States’ Responsibilities and Enforcement

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European Union Directive 2016/2102/EU, creating a set of standards for EU public sector bodies, was approved on October 26, 2016. In this post we look at what Member States need to do to ensure that public sector bodies are complying with the Directive and how the Directive can be enforced? What are the Responsibilities of Member States? Monitoring Member States are responsible for periodically monitoring the compliance of websites and apps for accessibility. Since the monitoring methodology should be harmonized across the Member States for the sake of uniformity, the Commission will establish a monitoring methodology by December 22, 2018…. Read More

EU Directive 2016/2102/EU: Overview and Drivers

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Overview On October 26, 2016, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union issued Directive 2016/2102/EU (“the Directive”) to make public sector websites and mobile applications (“apps”) more accessible across the European Union (“EU”). The Directive requires EU countries to ensure that the websites and mobile apps of public sector bodies meet common/harmonized European accessibility standards. The Directive will allow citizens with disabilities to more fully participate in society, wherever they reside or choose to move to. Common standards allow for providers to know what standards need to be met thus reducing the cost of operation in different… Read More

SSB CEO Tim Springer at Future Accessibility Summit in Dubai

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SSB BART Group (SSB) CEO Tim Springer recently returned from a trip to Dubai to present at the Future Accessibility Summit. This summit supports His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s initiative to have Dubai become an inclusive and accessible city by 2020. The Emirate of Dubai issued Law No. (2) of 2014 which protects the rights of persons with disabilities. In April 2016, a project was announced to ensure all new buildings and public spaces are accessible and that existing facilities are retrofitted for improved accessibility. Of course, physical access must be accompanied by digital access. One of the… Read More

Can Assistive Technology Really Help the Deaf to Communicate Independently?

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By Guest Blogger, Anirban Lahiri The field of Assistive Technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the past two decades. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be well reflected with the existing solutions for the deaf with regards to communication. According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), across all age groups, approximately 600,000 people in the United States (0.22% of the population, or 2.2 per 1,000) alone are “deaf” (Gallaudet Research Institute, 2011). The primary medium of communication within the deaf community is Sign Language. It is estimated that more than 500,000 people use American Sign Language. Sign language… Read More

The Government of the Sultanate of Oman Adopts eAccessibility

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By Debra Ruh, SSB BART Group, Chief Marketing Officer The Information Technology Authority (ITA) Sultanate of Oman invited me to visit Muscat, Oman last week to help them draft an eAccessibility Policy.  It was an amazing experience and I was quite surprised in the eagerness to not only comply, but to raise the bar in eAccessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities (PwD) and senior citizens.  I met with many of the stakeholders including Social Services, Telecommunications, Banking, Health, Media, Education (Primary, Secondary, Higher Education and Vocational Training) and other IT stakeholders.  It was refreshing to dialog with these groups and hear the… Read More

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