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The End is Near...

Save the date.. 28th June 2025 ⏳☠️

Since 1998, signs have increasingly emerged for the need of an accessible world wide web. A global effort has been made by W3C and even the United Nations has given the approval to the action. Every country in the world created its own directives based on those rules.

In Italy maybe you've even heard about the Stanca Law.

And now the situation has changed... for the better!

Since 2016, Italy and EU members have been working on a compromise for their public administration services under the Directive (UE) 2016/2102, which received a deadline in the last June 28th 2020.

But in a complementary effort to extend equally to Public & Private Sector entities under the Directive (UE) 2019/882, known also as European Accessibility Act (EAA).

According to this directive all Web Service Providers shall ensure that they design and provide services in accordance with its accessibility requirements present on the European standard EN 301 549 that is based on international accessibility standard established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) within the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) on its Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) .

This covers:

  • Websites and mobile applications
  • Electronic documents
  • Software
  • Electronic devices
  • Web content

...Why is everybody scrambling?? πŸ˜±πŸ™€

All these laws will be enforced by June 28th, 2025 for any company not classified as a MicroEnterprise(any company employing less than 10 people and having an annual turnover of less than €2 million).

In addition, MicroEnterprises will have until June 28th, 2030 to make adjustments.

At this very moment in 2024, 1 out of every 3 companies in Italy is scrambling to repair their websites ahead of the Accessibility Doom deadline.

Many companies are aware of the issues they faced for not complying with the 2018 GDPR European Agreement, such as the "Cookie Law," leading to a surge in fines across the EU in 2023.

The Biggest GDPR Fines of 2023 source:EQS.com
Meta €1.2 billion (Ireland)
Meta €390 million (Ireland)
TikTok €345 million (Ireland)
TikTok €14.5 million (UK)
Axpo Italia Spa €10 million (Italy)
Tim S.p.A. €7.6 million (Italy)
WhatsApp €5.5 million (Ireland)

Nobody wants to fall short again so many companies are already searching for compliance ahead of the AGiD schedule.

As usual, Italy's PA is already being investigated by the Euro Parliament because it's not respecting the agreement.

What it's asked from all of Us πŸ‘½πŸ«‘

We need to prepare ourselves for this inclusive world as Business, Designers, Developers and colleagues.

We know SORINT is aware of the risks... but also of the opportunities.

Being compliant with EAA means:

  • We are doing the right thing for ALL by ensuring that all our colleagues are "Being a part of it".
  • Minimizing legal risks and avoiding fines.
  • Make SORINT Brand Perception to be truly inclusive
  • Enhance our clients' trust in our ability to safeguard their products and services within EAA
  • A wonderful chance to evaluate our clients, products and services.
  • Able to work securely within Public Administration

There are also a lot of tools available on the web to test and initial evaluation of our applications and I'd like to suggest a couple them:

  1. The CNR Validation Tool Mauve
  2. The Utah's University WebAIM Tool WAVE (It can also be installed as browser extension or a local stand alone app)

What has been done at SORINT πŸ˜‰πŸ«ΈπŸ½πŸ«·πŸΌπŸ˜Š

From the information I have gathered so far, many of our colleagues have already embarked on this A11y journey:

  • At Software Factory Sircle, our SOFA Buddies, already got certifications for WCAG 2.2 for UX/UI
  • Many of our Devs are getting courses on Accessible Interfaces Development to fulfill the gap with the help of Global Academia Team
  • Our colleagues from Application Performance Sircle participated at the Accessibility Days 2024
  • You can also read Mariapia's great Article here talking about it.

It's a good start, but there is still room for improvement.

When can I get the next rocket? πŸš€ 🌝

We must distribute the wealth of knowledge and align our colleagues to a shared vision of our direction and purpose.

All the expertise gathered should be consolidated into a common knowledgebase and those who have already begun the process should take a step forward and collaborate to create a shareable reference for others.

Many have already considered the creation of:

  1. Guidelines for best practices in digital accessibility for every stage of our development process, including Business, Design, Development, and Testing.
  2. A Centralized Group is being set up to support and coordinate activities for advocating Accessibility Matters.

We're creating materials and articles to share guidelines within SORINT channels and I encourage all of you to explore further by clicking the links provided below.

All Sorintians are invited to participate. If you want to lend a helping hand to this movement, feel free to contact us:

  • Alandy Beanes (Sircle SOFA)
  • Davide Beretta (Sircle Dev/Arch)
  • Luigi Savio (Sircle Application Performance)

We believe that prioritizing Accessibility in software development will lead to a more responsible society that includes fair integration and exceptional products.

Are We up for it?

Ps.: Thanks @mabugabal and @fboomsma for the support!

Useful Resources πŸ“š

  • Agenda Digitale - Cosa dice l'EAA - ITA
  • The Italian Docs on a11y - ITA
  • La Norma Tecnica EN 301 549 - ITA
  • WAI - The Web Accessibility Initiative - ENG
  • The WCAG 2.2 Guidelines - ENG & ITA
  • WIA.com Directories - ENG
  • Docs ITALIA on Design with Accessibility - ITA
  • Design System .IT on Accessibility - ITA
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