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Ministerial Decree July 8, 2005
The technical requirements and the different levels of accessibility of computer tools.

Annex A

Technical assessment and technical accessibility requirements of Internet technology-based applications

  

1. Preamble

 

The technical accessibility requirements shall be defined and the activities laid down for the technical assessment shall be set out based on:

  1. the indications of the Recommendations of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and in particular those of the draft Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI);
  2. standards defined in paragraph 1194.22 of Section 508 of the USA Rehabilitation Act;
  3. technical standards and specifications in the field of accessibility defined by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO);
  4. experience gained within the framework of Public Administration and, in particular, experience relating to implementation of the AIPA Circular of 6 September 2001 on “Criteria and instruments to improve the disabled accessibility of web sites and computer applications” and the Directive of the Prime Minister of 30 May 2002 on the recognition and use of the Internet domain “.gov.it” and the effective interaction of the national portal “italia.gov.it” with the public administrations and their regional branches.

 

2. Methodology for the technical assessment

 

The technical assessment consists of the following activities:

  1. verification, using automatic validation systems, of the compliance of the markup language used with its formal definition;
  2. verification by the technical expert of the proper semantic use of elements and attributes in accordance with the specification of the markup language used, including by using semi-automatic assessment instruments in order to pick out problems that cannot be detected by the automatic assessments;
  3. examination of the page with various versions of different graphic browsers in various operating systems in order to verify that:
    1. the information content and the functionalities present on a page are the same in different browsers;
    2. the presentation of the page is similar in browsers that support the technology indicated in requirement No 1 pursuant to paragraph 4 of this Annex;
    3. the information content and functionalities of the page are still usable when image loading is deactivated;
    4. the information content and any audio files are also usable in text form;
    5. the contents of the page are usable when browser functions to define the size of the characters are used;
    6. the page is navigable only using the keyboard with normal ability;
    7. the contents and functionalities of the page are still usable, in different modes, when style sheets, scripts and applets and other program objects are deactivated;
    8. the contents and functionalities continue to be available with a textual browser and the same contents retain their significance and the correct semantic structure;
  4. assessment of differences in luminosity and colour between the text and the background in accordance with the following algorithms;
    1. luminosity difference: calculate the luminosity of text and background colours using the formula: ((Red X 299) + (Green X 587) + (Blue X 114)) / 1000, where Red, Green and Blue are decimal colour values; the result must be no less than 125.
    2. colour difference: calculate the colour difference using the formula [Max (Red1, Red2) – Min (Red1, Red2)] + [Max (Green1, Green2) – Min (Green1, Green2)] + [Max (Blue1, Blue2) – Min (Blue1, Blue2)], where Red, Green and Blue are decimal colour values and Max and Min are the maximum and minimum values taken into consideration; the result must be no less than 500;
  5. drafting of a report in which the technical expert indicates the conformity, non-conformity or any inapplicability of every individual requirements of the page examined.

 

3. Assistive assessment programs

 

Numerous programs are available on the market, capable of facilitating the technical assessment of web site accessibility. In particular, these programs must be able to guarantee suitable support for the activities of the technical expert. A precise list of these programs is not provided in this Annex. We would, however, point out, pursuant to Article 11(1)(b) of Law No 4 of 2004, the automatic program provided by the W3C and the programs included on the list of the most common programs available on the page http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/existingtools.html, on the same W3C site.

 

4. Accessibility requirements for Internet sites

 

The serial number, terms, reference to the checkpoints of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – versions 1.0 (WCAG 1.0) of the W3C-WAI, and the reference to the standards defined in Section 508 of the “Rehabilitation Act”, are indicated for each requirement.

Any W3C-WAI checkpoints and standards of Section 508 referred to in individual requirements are to be understood as for reference purposes only in order to allow simpler comparison with standards already used, and to facilitate the use of computer instruments for accessibility assessment currently available on the market.

The expression “Instead of the first application”, in the terms of certain requirements, allows an alternative method of adaptation to be adopted for particularly complex public sites.

 

 

List of accessibility requirements for Internet sites

 

Requirement No 1

Terms: Create pages and objects thereon using technology defined by formal grammars published in the most recent versions available, when they are supported by user programs. Use elements and attributes so that they conform to specifications, respecting the semantic aspect. In particular, for HTML (HyperText Markup Language) markup languages and XHTML (eXtensible HyperText Markup Language):

  1. for all new sites, use at least version 4.01 of HTML, or preferably version 1.0 of XHTM, in any case, with Strict DTD (Document Type Definition);
  2. for existing sites, instead of the first application, where it is not possible to comply with point a), it shall be permitted to use the version of the above-mentioned languages with Transitional DTD, but with the following cautions:
    1. avoid using, within the markup language in which the page is coded, elements and attributes to define the page’s presentation characteristics (for example, characteristics of the text characters, colours of the text and the background, etc.), and use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to achieve the same graphic effect instead;
    2. avoid generating new windows. Where this is not possible, explicitly warn the user of the change of focus;
    3. plan the transition of the entire site to the Strict DTD version of the language used, informing the Prime Minister’s Office – Department for Innovation and Technology, and the National Centre for Computing in Public Administration.

WCAG 1.0 References: 3.1, 3.2, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 11.1, 11.2

Sec. 508 References: None

 

Requirement No 2

Terms: It shall not be permitted to use frames in the creation of new sites. Instead of the first application, for existing web sites with frames, it shall be permitted to use HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0 with frameset DTD, but with the following cautions:

  1. avoid using, within the markup language in which the page is coded, elements and attributes to define the page’s presentation characteristics (for example, characteristics of the text characters, colours of the text and the background, etc.), and use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to achieve the same graphic effect instead;
  2. make sure that every frame has a indicative title to facilitate their identification and navigation. If necessary, also describe the purpose of the frames and how they are related;
  3. plan the transition to XHTML, at least version 1.0 with Strict DTD, of the entire site, informing the Prime Minister’s Office – Department for Innovation and Technology, and the National Centre for Computing in Public Administration.

WCAG 1.0 References: 12.1, 12.2

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (i)

 

Requirement No 3

Terms: Provide an equivalent textual alternative for every non-textual object present on a page, and ensure that when the non-textual content of an object changes dynamically, the related equivalent content is also updated. The textual equivalent of a non-textual object must be proportionate to the function performed by the original object in the specific context.

WCAG 1.0 References: 1.1, 6.2

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (a)

 

Requirement No 4

Terms: Ensure that all informative elements and all functionalities are available even in the absence of the specific colour used to present them on the page.

WCAG 1.0 References: 2.1

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (c)

 

Requirement No 5

Terms: Avoid flickering or moving objects or text with an intermittent frequency could cause photosensitive epileptic seizures or disturb concentration, or could cause the assistive technology used to malfunction. If informative requirements require these objects or text to be used, warn the user of the possible risk before presenting them and provide means allowing these elements to be avoided.

WCAG 1.0 References: 7.1, 7.2, 7.3

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (j)

 

Requirement No 6

Terms: Ensure that the informative content (foreground) and the background are always distinguishable, using sufficient contrast (in the case of text) or different sound levels (in the case of speech with background music). Avoid presenting text in the form of images. Where this is not possible, apply the same criteria of distinguishability indicated above.

WCAG 1.0 References: 2.2

Sec. 508 References: None

 

Requirement No 7

Terms: Use sensitive image maps on the client side rather than the server side, except where the sensitive zones cannot be defined with one of the predefined geometric forms indicated in the DTD used.

WCAG 1.0 References: 9.1

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (f)

 

Requirement No 8

Terms: Where server-side image maps are used, provide alternative text links necessary to obtain all the accessible information or services by directly incorporating the map.

WCAG 1.0 References: 1.2

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (e)

 

Requirement No 9

Terms: For data tables, use the elements (markers) and attributes provided by the DTD used to describe the content and identify the row and column headers.

WCAG 1.0 References: 5.1, 5.5, 5.6

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (g)

 

Requirement No 10

Terms: For data tables, use the elements (markers) and attributes provided by the DTD used to associate data cells and header cells which have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.

WCAG 1.0 References: 5.2

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (h)

 

Requirement No 11

Terms: Use style sheets to control the presentation of content and organise pages so that they can be read even when the style sheets are disabled or not supported.

WCAG 1.0 References:3.3, 6.1

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (d)

 

Requirement No 12

Terms: The presentation and textual content of a page must be able to be adapted to the dimensions of the browser window used by the user, without superimposing objects present or loss of information such as to render the content incomprehensible, including in the case of resizing, enlargement or reduction of the display area or characters in relation to the predefined values of these parameters.

WCAG 1.0 References: 3.4

Sec. 508 References: None

 

Requirement No 13

Terms: Where tables are used for layout, ensure that the content of the table is comprehensible even when this table is linearised, and use the elements an attributes of a table complying with the defined semantic value in the specific markup language used.

WCAG 1.0 References: 5.3, 5.4

Sec. 508 References: None

 

Requirement No 14

Terms: In forms, explicitly associate labels with their respective controls, positioning them so as to facilitate compilation of fields by the persons using the assistive technology.

WCAG 1.0 References: 10.2, 12.4

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (n)

 

Requirement No 15

Terms: Ensure that the pages are usable when scripts, applets or other programming objects are disabled or not supported. Where this is not possible, provide a textual explanation of the functionality provided and provide an equivalent textual alternative, in the same way as indicated in requirement No 3.

WCAG 1.0 References: 6.3

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (l), 1194.22 (m)

 

Requirement No 16

Terms: Ensure that event handlers that activate scripts, applets or other programming objects, or which have a specific proprietary interface, are input device-independent.

WCAG 1.0 References: 6.4, 9.2, 9.3

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (l), 1194.22 (m)

 

Requirement No 17

Terms: Ensure that the functionalities and information provided by programming objects, objects that use technology not defined by published formal grammars, scripts and applets, are directly accessible.

WCAG 1.0 References:8.1

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (l), 1194.22 (m)

 

Requirement No 18

Terms: Where a film or a multimedia presentation is essential for the completeness of the information or service provided, provide a synchronised equivalent textual alternative, in the form of sub-titles or an auditory description, or provide a summary or simple label for each video or multimedia elements, taking account of the degree of importance or difficulty in the case of real-time transmission.

WCAG 1.0 References: 1.3, 1.4

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (b)

 

Requirement No 19

Terms: Clearly identify the distinction of each hypertext link with meaningful text if read out of context, or associate with alterative links that have the same explanatory characteristics, and provide mechanisms that allow repeated reading of sequences of links common to several pages to be avoided.

WCAG 1.0 References: 13.1, 13.6

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (o)

 

Requirement No 20

Terms: Where a predefined period of time in which determined actions are executed is required to use the service provided, it shall be necessary to explicitly warn the user, indicating the maximum permitted time and alternatives to use the same service.

WCAG 1.0 References: 7.4, 7.5

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (p)

 

Requirement No 21

Terms: Make links on a page selectable and executable by means of keyboard commands or technology that emulates a keyboard or by means of pointer systems other than a mouse. In order to facilitate the selection and activation of links on a page, it shall be necessary to ensure that the vertical distance of lists of links and the horizontal spacing between consecutive links is at least 0.5 em, the horizontal and vertical distance between the buttons of a form is at least 0.5 em and that the dimensions of the buttons on a form are such as to make the label contained therein clearly legible.

WCAG 1.0 References: None

Sec. 508 References: None

 

Requirement No 22

Terms: For pages of existing sites that cannot comply with the requirements listed above (non-accessible pages), instead of the first application, provide a link to a page that meets these requirements, providing information and functionalities that are equivalent to those of the non-accessible page and which is updated with the same frequency, avoiding the creation of text-only pages. The link to the compliant page must be clearly displayed at the head of the non-accessible page.

WCAG 1.0 References: 11.4

Sec. 508 References: 1194.22 (k)

 



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