EN 301 549: European Standard for Digital Accessibility

EN 301 549: European Standard for Digital Accessibility

What is EN 301 549?

EN 301 549 is the European standard for technology accessibility in the public sector. It is an important set of guidelines that cover a wide range of disabilities and specify a number of barriers that may prevent a person from taking advantage of services. As per these guidelines, European information and communication technology (ICT) needs to be available to everyone.

What was the idea behind creating EN 301 549?

EN 301 549 was the byproduct of a collaboration between all three standardization groups in Europe, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

This code references Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) frequently, drawing upon existing standards to create a comprehensive code. The standardization entities who collaborated on this project also took into consideration Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act in the US.

This harmonization makes it easier for corporations to partner with the public sector and vice versa. There will be fewer miscommunications when designing new technology or when quality testing each feature. More and more countries are taking into account international standards when it comes to regulating new technology. The more consistent the rules are, the more money and time everyone saves.

How does EN 301 549 differ from the other compliance standards?

EN 301 549 has covered an additional area under its accessibility guidelines compared to other compliance standards – The concept of biometrics. From face recognition to fingerprints, people with disabilities can still access technology that was designed to scan and read biological data. As biometric technology becomes more advanced, features like eye-pattern recognition for the disabled will become more essential for information and communication technology.

What are the benefits of compliance with EN 301 549?

1. Cultivates an inclusive environment for your potential consumers.
2. Eliminates legal risks related to accessibility
3. Enhanced overall user experience
4. Improved search engine optimization (SEO) resulting in more exposure.

How to ensure your website is compliant with EN 301 549?

Here are some steps to ensure EN 301 549 compliance for your digital content:

1. Develop an accessible framework based on EN 301 549 Compliance Checklist before starting your project.
2. Get an EN 301 549 Compliance Audit for your digital content
3. Begin Accessibility Remediation– Arrange for consultation with accessibility experts to rectify any accessibility violations and implement accessible features.
4. Provide Accessibility Trainings– Train teams involved in design and development on Accessibility, its implementation and its importance.

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