Useable for everyone – Why accessibility is important in IT solutions

2. October 2019

Accessibility also ensures people with restrictions of various kinds and characteristics to participate in social life, in working life and in IT solutions – as an assurance of international human rights as well as as a commitment from the German Participation Act and the specific ordinance for federal states.

Accessibility thus ensures the operation in IT projects also by the extended user groups around people with impairments or Disabilities. In accordance with the requirements of the same higher-level standard group ISO 9241-171, the preservation of accessibility is implemented in IT projects – similar to the rules of the standard for usability ISO 9241-110 with the quality assurance dialogue principles as a basic manifesto.

The basic requirement for accessibility arises from the requirement of the Federal Part-Sharing Act, in particular, on information systems of state bodies or on platforms financed by state and in particular European funds. The fulfilment requirement is determined by ordinance on the creation of barrier-free information technology in accordance with the Disability Equality Act (Accessibility Information Technology Ordinance – BITV 2.0) of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, as well as the relevant Saxon Ordinance. Accessibility is implemented in particular under the Accessibility Information Technologies Regulation, BITV 2.0, as a testable quality standard for IT systems.

For websites, the principles of the WACS for barrier-free websites, which are reflected in the BITV as principles, are as complementary to the standards of the W3C:

  • Visibility
  • Usability
  • Comprehensibility
  • Robustness

Consideration of disability by relevance

Accessibility ensures the operation of information systems for people with disabilities and restrictions of all kinds. In order to ensure this requirement for information systems, awareness of the overall range of possible obstacles and limitations must be created in advance. The following lists all the obstacles concerned and underpins them with their relevance for IT projects as well as initial approaches to the technical solution.

Visual disabilities

  • Restricted vision
  • Complete blindness

Basically, far more people are affected by impaired vision than one might think. In projects focused on social context sands as well as authorities, the likelihood of age-related visual impairment is not unlikely on the part of users. Small improvements such as larger fonts or the possibility of magnification provide emergency aid. In the case of color blindness, combinations of colouring and icons, formal language or text information are met to ensure perception e.g. such as information or interaction. In the case of complete blindness of the users, the IT solution will be operable via a mixture of keyboard control and voice output, resulting in a mixed choice of simplicity, arrangement, tabbing, UI automation and the use of assistive technology according to BITV is ensured.

Auditive disabilities

  • Restricted hearing
  • Complete numbness

People with auditory glitches will be able to use our platform in the information content without access problems, as it is a rather text-heavy application. For the selective use of audio and video, subtitles or text alternatives as well as other control options.

Motor disabilities

  • Restricted mobility
  • Partial paralysis
  • Complete paraplegia
  • Missing limbs (arms, hands)

Motor faults are quite relevant for our application, as the application will primarily be operated with mouse and keyboard. If a person is affected by a disturbance of the motor function of his hands, there are various auxiliary options with different degrees of complexity: Large click surfaces are rather the precursor, but primarily a keyboard control is important. People with complex motor disabilities e.g. For example, due to paralysis or even missing limbs, alternative input media such as pen or gesture control also need voice control and eye control.

Brain and learning disorders

  • Functional Limitations
  • Less understanding
  • Trigger: From birth like Down syndrome or strokes of fate such as stroke

From birth, due to strokes of fate or age-related, the users may have brain dysfunction and learning disorders. Our technical system must take this into account to some extent. Basically, users do not assume illiteracy, as they are people who use apps, software and websites, or who have family responsibilities and are in the world of work. However, brain dysfunctions can still occur due to fate for example, as a result of a stroke. A degree of simplicity of language as well as iconographic support can provide at least a small level of help. In addition, sketchy explanatory videos with speaker texts offer support.

Time window of disability

  • Situational conditional
  • Temporary
  • By stroke of fate
  • Since birth to

Comply with the dialogue principles of ISO 9241-110

For each user, the use of the system must be efficient, effective and satisfactory in the same way – in accordance with the requirements of the standard for suitability for use and the VDU Occupational Safety and Health Regulation. In order to ensure the accessibility of software and web applications, our system must therefore comply with the dialogue principles for people with disabilities to the same extent as for users without disabilities. The criteria for usability are specifically named in the context of accessibility as the foundations of the application.

Appropriateness of tasks
A user with a disability must also be able to successfully complete the work tasks within the framework of the FamJob IT system.

Self-description capability
Even for a user with a disability, the IT system must be comprehensible and comprehensible in content and operation.

Even a user with a disability must be able to control, stop and pause the IT system as required.

Fault tolerance
A user with a disability must also receive help and correction instructions in the event of possible operating errors as part of our IT system.

Especially for a user with a disability, the IT system must be adaptable to his or her individual needs and abilities.

Learning support
Even a user with a disability must be able to understand our IT system and learn how to use it.

Conformity of expectations
A user with a disability must be able to experience and operate our IT system according to his expectations – in terms of technology and content as well as in operation.