European mandate requires public mobile applications to be accessible for persons with disabilities

The European Commission is developing a set of website accessibility guidelines for public sector mobile applications as a response to EU’s 2016 Web and Mobile Accessibility Directive. These new standards will establish binding requirements for member states through Mandate 554 and will provide precise instructions to comply with the new regulation.

Mandate 554 is based on technical standards WCAG 2.0 created by the World Wide Web Consortium. It requires application designers to consider the principles of perceivability, operability, understandability and robustness. This means that their new software must be presentable to users in ways in which they can perceive it, through accessible user interfaces, simple to understand and with reliable contents that can be interpreted by different users even through accessible technologies.

While the mandate will no doubt promote an increase in accessibility for Europeans with disabilities, its enforcement will still be delayed for some time until an agreement is reached on how to better implement the technical standards.

Sources: GAATES and Boia