The National Disability Authority (NDA) launched the Excellence through Accessibility Award (EtA) EtA Award in 2005. This initiative comes from a government commitment to accessibility in the 2000 Programme for Prosperity and Fairness . It aims to promote excellence in the provision of accessible public service. Government departments and their agencies are encouraged to join the scheme and to work towards reaching the highest level of accessible service delivery. The award looks at three key areas: the built environment, customer services and channels.
The NDA has published guidelines as part of the EtA award initiative. Guideline 14 requires that 'the organisation is committed to achieving conformance level Double-A with the Web Accessibility Initiative's (WAI) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0'
The EtA award scheme sets out a number of performance indicators for this guideline. These include full compliance of all HTML-based information and services with level Double-A of WAI WCAG but also lower levels of accessibility, including:
- A commitment to auditing and improving accessibility;
- A web accessibility statement in place on each website stating a commitment to reaching and maintaining level Double-A; and
- That new content published to the site is Double-A compliant.
Participation in the EtA award provides a structured process for implementing continuous improvements in the accessibility of public websites.
The NDA's seeks to promote commitment to continuous improvement in accessibility of public services. To do this, the award encourages the development of policies, practices and relationships to ensure that achievements in accessibility are sustainable and meaningful to customers.
This brief glossary covers some key accessibility terms.
Ensuring that information or services delivered through websites are available to and usable by the widest possible audience.
Hardware devices and software that are used to adapt an existing system for use by someone with a disability or that assist someone with a disability in carrying out tasks.
A web accessibility audit measures your website's level of accessibility in a systematic way against a set of accessibility checkpoints.
Computer language used to create web pages.
The broad range of technology used in information management and communication. This includes websites and devices (such as personal computers) used to access them, in addition to many other types of technology.
A widely used screen reader program.
Software that reads the contents of the computer screen aloud.
Ensuring that a website or service facilitates users in carrying out their goals.
Computer language used to structure information. XML and some related technologies can help to facilitate web accessibility.