RDA is committed to providing online information that is user friendly, accessible, well designed and findable. The websites of RDA need to be easy for the public to find, view and use. To make sure that this happens, RDA has adopted the Web Guidelines, which its website managers have to apply.
Applying the Web Guidelines
If you apply the Web Guidelines correctly, your website will meet the functional, technical and editorial standards that make it accessible for all types of user. For example, the blind and visually impaired. And users of all types of computer, from outdated PCs to the latest mobile devices.
How does RDA.nl apply the Web Guidelines?
By making the Web Guidelines a fixed part of all aspects of website management, from design and editing to further development.
Companies carrying out contracts for public authorities are obliged to apply the Web Guidelines.
Their employees must have the knowledge and skills necessary to apply the Web Guidelines appropriately. The manuals to enable them to do so are complete and up to date.
The website editors must use dedicated software to make all information – text, images and video – accessible to the public. An example is the controlled language tool that helps editors make text understandable. In 2014, a new tool is being introduced to help editors further comply with the Web Guidelines.
Monitoring compliance with the Web Guidelines
A good monitoring system is indispensable if websites are to comply with the Web Guidelines.
How does RDA.nl monitor compliance?
Several times a year, independent experts monitor the accessibility and design of rda.nl. If they encounter problems, rda.nl’s managers try to find long-term solutions.
RDA.nl has commissioned the Central Audit Service (ADR) to assess whether procedures are in place to support maximum possible compliance with the Web Guidelines.
From 2014, a testing program, the Web Guideline Monitor, will be run through Rijksoverheid.nl every quarter to test whether it complies with the Web Guidelines. The Web Guidelines Monitor is being produced and maintained for the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.
The rda.nl editorial team tests the accessibility of all published content. It also carries out project-based interim checks on the content.
Rendering account for compliance with the Web Guidelines
RDA.nl generally complies with the Web Guidelines version 2 (WRv2).
Almost 100% Web Guideline compliant
RDA.nl complies almost 100% with the Web Guidelines. Parts of the website may not comply owing to its size. The size of rda.nl makes its management an intensive task, for which more than 150 central and local editors are jointly responsible.
Information and complaints about accessibility of rda.nl
Do you find rda.nl, or parts of it, less than fully accessible? Or do you have any tips or comments for improving its accessibility? Inform us via the phone +31 (0) 70 37 85 266 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
RDA.nl will remedy any inaccessibility as soon as possible. In specific situations, Government.nl will seek an appropriate solution.
Components of rda.nl not fully compliant with the Web Guidelines
RDA.nl may not comply 100% with the Web Guidelines with respect to three components.
- Specifications: PDF files on rda.nl.
- Cause: PDF files are subject to very high requirements by the Web Guidelines. They are supplied to rda.nl by various parties, not all of whom have the knowledge necessary for creating PDF files in accordance with the Guidelines. As a result, rda.nl cannot guarantee that all PDFs on the website will comply with the Web Guidelines.
- Result: rda.nl believes it has done enough to remedy non-compliance by offering appropriate alternatives.
- Alternatives: As a solution for the problem, rda.nl has drawn up a set of minimum requirements for PDF files on the website. In principle, it will strive to publish only PDF files that meet the Web Guidelines in full. But for the time being, it will also accept PDFs that meet the following requirements: the layout must be in PDF/A-1a or PDF/UA-1; the text must be selectable and copyable; the file may not contain any scanned text or images or personal data; and the correct ministry must be mentioned in the metadata.
- Measures: rda.nl imposes strict requirements on new PDF files. They must at least comply with the requirements under ‘Alternatives’.
- Schedule: The strict minimum requirements on new PDF files are already valid.
- Specification of problem: Videos for rda.nl are sometimes provided by parties with whom rda does not have a purchasing agreement (occasional providers). Some of these videos do not immediately comply with the Web Guidelines, for instance when subtitling is added at a later stage. Videos supplied by regular providers comply immediately.
- Cause: The videos usually contain news and soon lose their news value. rda.nl is therefore unwilling to postpone publication until the videos comply with the Web Guidelines.
- Result: Some rda.nl visitors cannot access the videos or view them properly.
- Alternatives: rda.nl does not offer any alternatives for these instances of non-compliance, but tries to solve each problem within a few hours of publication.
- Measures: rda.nl wants all videos published on the website to comply immediately with the Web Guidelines. Standard processing and delivery of videos is part of the purchasing agreements which rda has concluded with regular providers. Videos provided by other parties comply with the Web Guidelines by the following working day at the latest.
- Schedule: rda.nl is constantly working to ensure videos are accessible for everyone. Regular providers have been obliged to deliver videos conforming to the Web Guidelines since mid-2014.
- Specification: All files, such as old news reports, that are no longer up to date.
- Cause: Some old content must be available in the website’s archives. But Government.nl will not accept old documents retroactively, because this would take too much time and money.
- Result: The repercussions of this decision are minimal, because all current information is accessible.
- Alternatives: rda.nl offers the current versions of files on the website when they are available.
- Measures: To limit the number of less accessible documents, rda.nl imposes strict requirements on new documents. If you want to use content that is not accessible, please contact the Central Government Information Line.
- Schedule: rda.nl is constantly developing and improving its accessibility and related processes.
World Wide Web Consortium W3C
Web Guidelines: ‘apply or explain’
The Web Guidelines (version 2) appear on the list of obligatory open standards laid down by the Standardisation Forum, which promotes open standards and interoperability in Dutch public authorities. All the open standards listed by the Forum are subject to the ‘apply or explain’ principle. Public authorities must apply these standards in their entirety. Or, if they are justifiably unable to do so, they must clearly explain why.
The Web Guidelines (version 2) are described in the Web Guidelines Terms of Reference (Toepassingskader), which serves as a manual for best practice in website design and management.
The procedure whereby public authorities render account for their website management is also subject to requirements. These are described in the Web Guidelines Accountability Model (Verantwoordingsmodel).