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Accessibility and Standards

The Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act of 2000 (Chapter 413, Article 13) stipulates that no person with a disability shall be denied access to the services of any local or other public authority. The Foundation for Information Technology Accessibility (FITA) is the principal advocate and coordinator for ICT accessibility in Malta. FITA advises and acts on behalf of the Kummissjoni Nazzjonali Persuni b’Diżabilita’ (KNPD) on matters of ICT accessibility.

The latest GMICT Website Accessibility Standard issued by MITA on the 3rd June 2011, adopted version 2.0 of the Web Content Accessibilty Guidelines as specified by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).  All Level A guidelines and parts of the Level AA and AAA guidelines are mandatory and must be addressed on all new or updated Government websites.  For further detail please refer to the GMICT Website Accessibility Standard document available in PDF below. 

FITA

The Foundation for Information Technology Accessibility (FITA) strives to promote ICT and Web Accessibility in order to provide support, empowerment and social inclusion for disabled persons, so they may overcome any barriers imposed by their condition and take active and productive roles within our society. FITA has the assistive technology, knowhow and computer equipment required in order to provide a review and assessment service for both websites and software applications. Although FITA is free to assess any one product or service upon its own initiative, material can be also submitted for appraisal directly by the service provider. The resulting report will contain guidelines and suggestions as to where improvements can be implemented and how.
 

What is Website Accessibility?
 
When an entity decides to procure a new service website, its main aim should to provide the service to as much people as possible irrespective of their circumstances and the type of web technologies being used. Having a technologically accessible website means that its services may be fully utilised on any Internet browser, any operating system and any type of hardware. Having a socially accessible website means that its content and functionality is available to, and may be understood by all interested parties, irrespective of their situation or requirements. Website Accessibility is achieved only when both these two measures have been attained at a satisfactory degree. It should not be confused with usability, which denotes the quality of service being delivered to the intended target audience once it is accessible to all of them.