As of September 23, 2019, all new websites in the U.K. and any published after September, 23, 2018, must be accessible, according to a U.K. government press statement.
Simon Hart, the Minister for Implementation, said:
"This is another positive step in our longstanding commitment to ensuring digital services are accessible for all users and to encourage improved equality of access to public information and services.
Although directly impacting the public sector, the regulations provide a necessary reminder for all organisations to consider the needs of all users when building online services."
Websites that launched before September 23, 2018 will have another year to comply by September 23, 2020. Mobile apps will have until June 23, 2021. Accessibility statements are included in the requirements.
On the accessibility regulations campaign page, there are four steps for public sectors to take to ensure accessibility, copied verbatim here:
- Understand how the regulations will impact your organisation
- Decide how to check your website or app for accessibility problems
- Make a plan to fix any accessibility problems you find
- Publish an accessibility statement
For more information, read the full accessibility regulations guidance. WCAG 2.1 is specified in the document as the international accessibility standard.