FEG ExCo Deputy & FEG Trainer
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Accessibility is a human right. In a world where 15%, or one billion people, of the global population live with some form of disability, it is essential to realise and address the magnitude of the problem1.
Legislation around the world protects individuals against discrimination and unfair treatment. It protects against discrimination in the workplace; when providing goods, facilities and services; at public functions and premises; in education. It also extends to websites and mobile applications. It is expected the digital presences such as websites and apps, should be accessible and used by as many people as possible.
Image: People checking website, Digital Accessibility via Canva.com
Tourist guides are committed to offering services that meet the needs and abilities of all their clients. Accessible Tourism is a long-term goal for the European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (FEG). This goal is promoted and achieved through partnerships and training courses.
But what about digital services? What criteria can be used to check whether websites and other digital offerings are accessible to all?
Here the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines2 is a friend. The Accessibility Guidelines provide four main principles to help with accessibility. The principles are:
Using these 4 Principles is good practice whether you are a self-employed tourist guide considering creating your first website, or a tourist guides’ association representing its membership.
What other things should you keep in mind when you want your personal or association website to be accessible to all?
It is important to think of accessibility from the start when designing new digital services or redesigning existing ones. It is important because it will cost less if it is considered right at the start. It will also make sure that everybody is included. Finally, don’t forget that FEG is committed to Accessible Tourism in all its forms and offers training courses to its member-associations’ certified tourist guides.
You can click on the full Cultural Routes listing per European country and see which are the themed Routes in your own area here:
1 World Health Organization: World Report on Disability
2 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines