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Consultation opens on new digital accessibility laws that will help recruit more disabled people

The UK Government has begun a consultation on new digital accessibility laws for public sector websites and apps, which will help to make the recruitment process for people with disabilities.

The new EU Directive on the accessibility of the websites and mobile apps of public sector bodies will be brought into UK law later this year.

The government will implement the new rules in UK law by passing regulations that will put new responsibilities on public sector bodies to make their websites and apps accessible.

Evidence shows that inaccessible websites are still major barriers that stop disabled people getting into employment.

For example, a recent joint-survey of jobseekers’ attitudes by Recite Me and VERCIDA shows that nearly seven out of ten jobseekers (69%) think that employers and recruiters should make online job applications more accessible for disabled people.

The survey of 112 jobseekers also revealed that only one in three jobseekers (33%) think that employers and recruiters currently do a good job of making online job applications accessible for disabled people.

These results back-up the findings of our 2017 RIDI candidate survey of 200 jobseekers with disabilities conducted, which we conducted in partnership with VERCIDA.

The findings from that survey include:

  • 75% of the disabled jobseekers surveyed find their condition has an impact on their job search
  • 54% find hurdles at multiple stages of the recruitment process
  • 28% find online assessments challenging

 

The government’s consultation hopes to hear your views about what you’ll need to do to comply with the new rules if you’re affected by them, and how the rules should be monitored and enforced.

The new EU Directive means public sector websites and apps must become more accessible and meet minimum accessibility standards, except in cases where it will be disproportionate.

This means that public sector websites or apps must meet the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) accessibility standards (currently WCAG 2.0) at level AA.

The new directive also requires every public body to publish an accessibility statement before 23 December 2018.

Kate Headley, Chair of RIDI, said: “The new regulations should mean that more disabled people can get a job, as it will be easier for them to access the online recruitment process of public sector bodies.

“RIDI is calling on everyone with an interest in accessibility and recruitment to share your views of digital accessibility in order to shape these new laws and the future of digital Britain.”