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Bangladesh adopts digital accessibility guideline

Staff Correspondent
31 Jul 2023 22:03:06 | Update: 31 Jul 2023 23:08:57
Bangladesh adopts digital accessibility guideline

The government of Bangladesh has taken a significant step towards empowering persons with disabilities to develop a disability-inclusive smart Bangladesh.

After months of dedicated efforts, ICT Division has officially approved the ‘Digital Service and Web Designing Guideline for Inclusive Accessibility 2022.’

Cabinet Division has circulated the guideline to the relevant ministry and department as well, marking a landmark achievement in making Bangladesh’s web and e-services accessible to all the citizens, including people with disabilities.

Web accessibility is a vital aspect of ensuring that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed in a way that enable people with disabilities to access and use them with ease.

The newly approved guideline has been carefully crafted to align with the international standards of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1.

The guideline has been designed to achieve the following principles of web accessibility:

Perceivable: Information and user interface components must be presented in a way that users can perceive them. Operable: User interface components and navigation must be operable by all users. Understandable: Information and operation of the user interface must be understandable. Robust: Content must be robust enough to be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

To ensure that digital services and web designs are inclusive and accessible to all, the guideline provides three levels of conformance:

Mandatory level A: Basic accessibility requirements that must be met. Better Accessibility Level - AA: Higher-level accessibility standards that significantly enhance user experience. Model Level - AAA: The highest level of accessibility that ensures an excellent user experience for all individuals, including those with disabilities.

As part of the guideline, a comprehensive checklist for web accessibility has been included, covering various aspects of web design, such as text alternatives for non-text content, video and audio content alternatives, keyboard accessibility, clear page titles, and more. By adhering to this checklist, digital service providers and web designers can create a more inclusive online environment, leaving no one behind.

The ‘Digital Service and Web Designing Guideline for Inclusive Accessibility 2022’ is in line with Bangladesh’s commitment to achieving Vision 2041 and promoting disability rights and inclusion.

The Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act 2013 lays the foundation for digital inclusion and accessibility in the country. With the adoption of this comprehensive guideline, a2i Programme aims to pave the way for a more inclusive and accessible digital ecosystem, ultimately empowering persons with disabilities to participate fully in Bangladesh’s rapidly advancing digital era.