Agency aims to comply with international accessibility standard Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) plans to carry out detailed testing on its suite of digital services to ensure they are accessible to people with a disability.
The agency will test that services for citizens and businesses can be used by people with special, physical or sensory needs and by those who use assistive technology, such as screen-reading software.
DVLA’s digital services include a facility that allows users to check if a vehicle is taxed and has an MOT and a feature allowing the payment of DVLA fines.
Testers will make sure that users with a range of disabilities can access these and other DVLA services, including those who are blind or deaf; have low vision, colour blindness, dyslexia, limited limb mobility, learning disabilities or Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
Services will be tested on mobile phones, desktops, laptops and smart TVs with these user needs in mind.
One of the expected outcomes is compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the international accessibility standard.
“DVLA must ensure that digital services work for those who have specific needs or use assistive technology and ensure compliance (to minimum accessible AA level) within WCAG 2.0 web content accessibility guidelines,” says a call for suppliers published on GOV.UK’s procurement site Digital Marketplace. “It is also essential that DVLA test digital services with users who have access needs to ensure that those services are not only WCAG compliant but usable.”
Web accessibility is a requirement of the 2010 Equality Act. Public sector websites and apps must be accessible to all users under the EU’s ‘Accessibility of public sector websites and apps’ directive.
The move also fits with the Government Digital Service (GDS) Service Standard, on making user-friendly web pages, which includes the point: “All users should be able to complete the task your service provides the first time they try, as quickly and easily as possible. This includes users with disabilities or those who need assisted digital support.”
The winning supplier will work with DVLA’s qualitative research and usability testing team, interaction designers and front-end developers to make its digital services accessible.
The agency has received applications from 15 SMEs and four large companies to carry out the work. The deadline for applications is 1 November 2018.