Siteimprove Collaborates with Dutch Government on Web Accessibility
The Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) and Siteimprove have initiated a collaboration to promote the use of automated tools for improving the accessibility of websites.
Making websites accessible, or universal design, ensures that everyone regardless of disability and level of digital expertise can visit and use the internet.
“Universal design is of increasing importance as more and more people access digital government services with their smartphone or tablet,” said Leon van de Ven, Senior Policy Advisor at BZK. “This is precisely why we have invested in the development of tools that automatically test websites for accessibility.”
External experts have compared the solutions of Siteimprove and Gewoon Toegankelijk (Simply Accessible), a joint open-source initiative between BZK and Dutch municipalities. The conclusion is that both solutions can contribute to major improvements in web accessibility.
“Adherence to the regulations on accessibility can be difficult for organizations,” said Patrick Wittenberg, Country Manager of Siteimprove Benelux. “This collaboration provides both the government and Siteimprove with the ability to achieve inclusive websites for all Dutch organizations.”
Siteimprove’s software automatically scans the user’s website every five days and assesses it on 31 out of the 38 criteria formulated by the international accessibility standard WCAG 2.0, and highlights where on the specific pages any violations occur. The same goes for PDFs located on the website. In addition, Siteimprove can also test for misspellings, broken links, document management and search engine optimization (SEO). Siteimprove provides a simple user interface with direct links to the user’s own content management system and thus helping the user save about 70% more time than manual monitoring and editing.
“We want to take as much of the manual work as possible out of the task of making websites accessible,” Wittenberg said. “Ensuring inclusive websites should not be difficult or expensive, and our mission is to make it achievable for every web designer, editor and webmaster, both in the public and private sectors.”
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