Web accessibility: a General Assembly mandate
In order to make information on the United Nations and its activities available to the widest range of audiences, and in keeping with resolutions of the General Assembly, the Department of Public Information (DPI) is actively pursuing accessibility of the United Nations website by persons with disabilities. The objective of DPI is to comply with the Web Content Accessibility guidelines of the World Wide Web Consortium standards, which at the present time are the only standards with worldwide recognition.
More and more websites of the United Nations include several features designed to improve accessibility for users with disabilities, following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) of the World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C WAI).
These accessibility features benefit users with temporary or long-term disabilities, including those who are blind or have low-vision, limited mobility, hearing disabilities, and those who require adjustments due to characteristics associated with aging or limiting environments.
Some of these features are:
- Images on the site contain 'alt attributes,' which aid users who listen to the content of the site by using a screen reader, rather than reading the site;
- A 'skip navigation' link provides screen reader users with a method for bypassing the header and going directly to the main content when the page is accessed;
- Lay-out of the web pages is controlled by style sheets, which enables users using a screen reader to logically navigate the site -- users can also choose to disable those style sheets and/or replace them with their own, to fit their specific needs;
- Fonts are scalable and can be enlarged in the browser.
To improve the overall accessibility of the United Nations website, DPI has developed a set of guidelines.
Please note that official United Nations documentation is managed through a separate system and stored in PDF format, which may not provide full accessibility.