Digital Accessibility: UNCL publishes its report

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Access to citizenship, culture and knowledge are now closely linked to digital access. The National Digital Council publishes a report on e-accessibility, a study on scenarios for improving e-accessibility between February 2019 and January 2020..

With a view to the National Disability Conference (CNH) on 11 February 2020, the Council is publishing a report on digital accessibility, which was submitted to the Ministers on 5 February 2020. Sophie Cluzel, stated that "The accessibility of digital services has become an unavoidable issue in the lives of people with disabilities. It is therefore essential to understand the obstacles to its deployment and to find concrete solutions in collaboration with stakeholders. The report of the National Digital Council makes concrete recommendations in this regard.”

Cedric O said that "Digital technology must be an opportunity for all, in particular by offering new opportunities for people with disabilities. Through innovation, particularly in the field of artificial intelligence, through support for our startups, we have the opportunity to work to enable our fellow citizens to have access to all services. This is an issue of equality to which I am deeply attached and a challenge in which the Government is fully invested. "

This report deals with e-accessibility in three key areas particularly concerned by the digital transformation: access to citizenship, culture and knowledge. According to Salwa Toko, President of the National Digital Council, "In this regard, according to Salwa Toko, Chair of the National Digital Council, ".Digital inclusion issues are at the heart of the Council's reflections; digital should not be an additional dividing line for anyone. For people with disabilities, digital is a great opportunity for access to public services, knowledge and culture. However, this opportunity will remain in vain as long as we do not make a collective effort to make digital technology accessible.”.

For Jérémie Boroy, Chair of the Task Force and member of the National Digital Council, and Chair of the National Advisory Council on Disability Issues (NACDI), "... I would like to thank the Government of Canada for its support of this initiative.With this report, we wish to mobilise economic players, public authorities and users towards common and concrete objectives. Above all, however, we hope that this subject will no longer be the subject of such discussions in the future, that accessible digital technology will become the norm rather than the exception..”

The dematerialisation of administration has made digital public services essential for citizens. However, only 4% of public websites have published their accessibility certificate (RGAA compliance). The National Digital Council therefore proposes to rationalise the management of the digital accessibility of public services within a Ministerial Delegation for Digital Accessibility (DMAN). The latter would then ensure the monitoring and implementation of accessibility obligations, through a power of sanction on self referral or on user complaints via a reporting platform.

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The consultations and hearings held to prepare this report highlighted the lack of training of web and digital professionals in accessibility. In order to remedy this, the Council considers it necessary to integrate digital accessibility into the initial and continuing training of digital professionals.

Finally, the Council notes that eAccessibility could give new impetus to the French and European digital economy, through the creation of jobs linked to eAccessibility, but also through research and project funding. In the face of global competition, and more specifically of the GAFAMs, it now seems fundamental to encourage the development of our digital accessibility startups and to finance digital accessibility projects based on artificial intelligence.

The 50 recommendations resulting from this report are intended to feed into the French government's thinking on the subject of digital accessibility, with a view to the National Conference on Disability (CNH) on 11 February next.

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