Handicap Accessibility for Israeli Websites

We’ve been blogging about website accessibility since 2015, when the local Israeli web community started growing concerned about upcoming deadlines for making their websites compliant with a rigorous set of standards. Handicap accessibility for Israeli website has remained a hot topic in the development community. Since then, we’ve seen a growing number of Israeli websites add a toolbar for screen readers, adjusting font sizes, color contrast and more.

Disability rights activists say that up to 20% of the Israeli population have some form of disability and as part of creating a society with equal access for all, websites need to also serve people with limitations such as blindness and impaired motor function.

According to Israeli law, website owners who haven’t made their websites handicap accessible are subject to lawsuits of up to 50,000 NIS by individuals, without proof of damages.

Making Content Handicap Accessible

For the Visually Impaired

  • Allows for viewing with a screen reader
  • Graphics have a readable description (alt tags)
  • Ability to increase font size by up to 200% without breaking the layout
  • Linked media such as PDFs are also accessible
  • Colors are not the only way to transmit or emphasize information
  • Ability to view colors in high contrast

For the Cognitively Disabled (Dyslexia, Memory and Concentration Problems)

  • Audiovisual elements do not move automatically
  • Ability to pause audiovisual elements
  • Content flows in a logical order (H1 > H6)
  • Use of clear, simple language
  • Avoid using specialized vocabulary and abbreviations

For the Hard of Hearing

  • Use of synchronized subtitles and explanations of background sounds
  • Videos must include a separate textual summary
  • Ability to pause audiovisual elements
  • Content flows in a logical order (H1 > H6)

Other

  • Documents uploaded after October 25, 2015 must be made accessible
  • Forms that are filled out online must be made accessible, regardless of when they were uploaded
  • A website owner is not responsible for the accessible of third party forms and files
  • Websites built on platforms that don’t provide technological solutions for compliance with accessibility regulations can get a three-year exemption
  • Before filing complaint against a website owner, they must be contacted about the problem and given 60 days to address the issue. If the issue affects a service with a limited time window, then the site owner must address the problem before that time period ends (ex. a sale that ends in 5 days).

Who Needs to Make Their Sites Handicap Accessible in Israel?

  1. Website owners who have had a site since before October 25, 2015 are obligated to make their sites handicap accessible if their average annual revenue exceeds ₪1 million. Otherwise, they must at least provide contact information in an accessible format.
  2. Websites built after October 25, 2015 are exempt from make their sites accessible if the owner is as an Osek Patur or their average annual revenue is less than ₪100,000. Website owners who earn less than ₪300,000 from their business have an exemption until 2020.
  3. Video programs must include subtitles only if the website is of a public company or one whose annual revenue exceeds ₪5 million.
  4. New websites must be handicap accessible upon launch
  5. Smartphone and tablet applications must also be made handicap accessible. However, if a website provides the same service, then only one of them must be handicap accessible.

Tools for Checking Handicap Accessibility

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