Guidelines for Swedish public sector websites updated
Many countries have their own guidelines that complement and expand on WCAG and other guidelines to ensure that public sector websites are accessible and usable to the entire population. In Sweden, those guidelines are published by Verva (Swedish Administrative Development Agency) and are called Vägledningen 24-timmarswebben.
A new version of the guidelines has just been published (currently only available in Swedish - an English translation will be available in early 2007 at Guidelines for public sector websites). Vägledningen 24-timmarswebben is available online in HTML format and as a 2 MB PDF download. This edition is of special interest to me since I have written parts of it and am a member of the expert group that has written, edited, and improved the guidelines in the document.
The expert group consists of a number of people whose names many of you will recognise: Funda Denizhan, Tommy Olsson, Peter Krantz, Tommy Sundström, and myself. Working on this project with such skilled people has been a very good experience, and we’ve had plenty of fun during our meetings in person and over Skype.
I’m obviously hoping that this set of guidelines will be found useful, especially for anyone involved in building websites for the public sector.
What I would like to see happen, preferably without Verva having to enforce it by law, is that all Swedish public sector organisations take this document to heart and actually require their Web developers, designers, and editors to follow the guidelines it contains. It is incredibly frustrating to see brand new or completely redesigned websites created by “professionals” who apparently don’t know or don’t care about accessibility, usability, or Web standards. Still. In 2006.