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Indian Government working towards making 917 State Government websites accessible for the disabled

Indian Government working towards making 917 State Government websites accessible for the disabled

To empower Persons with Disabilities, 100 accessible
websites of various State Governments/Union Territories (UTs) were launched last
week under the Accessible India Campaign.

This is part of a “Website Accessibility Project” for State
Government/Union Territories (union territories are administered directly by
the central government) initiated by the Department of Empowerment of Persons
with Disabilities (Divyangjan
or DEPwD) under Accessible
India Campaign
[1]. The Project
is being executed by ERNET India, an
autonomous scientific society under the Ministry of Electronics &
Information Technology (MeitY). It aims to make
a total 917 websites accessible and now 100 accessible websites have been made
accessible under the project. The Project is funded by DEPwD.

People with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate,
and interact with the Web, and also contribute to the Web through accessible websites.
The websites are made accessible by making them compliant with Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0)
published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web
Consortium (W3C), the main international
standard organisation for the World Wide Web.

The founding principles of the guidelines state that
information and user interface components must be presentable to user in ways
they can perceive, user interface components and navigation must be operable
and information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
Moreover, content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by
a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

The guidelines establish three levels of accessibility
on basis of which websites are designed, namely: 1) Level A: This Indicates the
basic level of accessibility that any web page must have; 2) Level AA: This
indicates an intermediate level of accessibility that any web page should have;
and 3) Level AAA: This indicates the highest level of accessibility that any
web page can achieve.

Examples of steps taken would be providing appropriate
alternative text; captioning videos; providing transcripts for audio; making all
documents (e.g., PDFs) accessible; ensuring that colour is not the only visual
means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or
distinguishing a visual element; and making sure content is structured, clearly
written and easy to read.

[1] The Accessible
India Campaign is a nation-wide Campaign for achieving universal accessibility
for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). This includes physical accessibility to
built environments and transportation systems, as well as accessibility to the Information
and Communication Eco-System.

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