New international accessibility standard ISO 30071-1 digital accessibility standard – all you need to know (supersedes BS 8878)

What is it?

ISO 30071-1 Code of practice for creating accessible ICT products and services, released on 28th May 2019, is an international process-oriented Standard enabling organisations to embed accessibility considerations into their “business as usual” processes. The new Standard adapts and extends its predecessor, British Standard BS 8878, which is supersedes.

Our Chief Exec, Jonathan Hassell, led the creation of ISO 30071-1 as part of Hassell Inclusion’s commitment to share our years of accessibility experience with the widest audience we can reach, to have the greatest impact on accessibility internationally.

ISO 30071-1 in 71 seconds video

20% of the population of most countries have a disability.

Another 20-25% have accessibility needs due to ageing.

ISO 30071-1 helps you create digital products so this 40-45% of the population can use them.

It helps you embed inclusive design in your organisation:
– to understand what you have to gain from it
– and to make it business-as-usual most efficiently
– by embedding it in policies like procurement,
– by getting support from experts,
– and training your teams so they know what to do themselves

It also helps you embed inclusive design in your product development process:
– how the different purposes and audiences of products change the way you do accessibility
– what accessibility guidelines to use when you’re creating mobile apps
– how to make sure technology enablers like CMSes and JavaScript libraries can deliver accessibility
– how to embed accessibility efficiently into your team’s sprint and test planning
– how to prioritise between accessibility fixes when you can’t do everything for everyone
– and how to let users know of any accessibility deficiencies when your product goes live and give them a way of contacting you

Using ISO 30071-1, each member of the team knows what they can do to help make products appeal to the widest possible audience, to uphold your brand values, and minimise any legal risk.

How is ISO 30071-1 different from WCAG?

ISO 30071-1  isn’t a replacement for other accessibility standards like WCAG which concentrate on the technical, design or testing elements of accessibility. ISO 30071-1 puts those important activities in a framework to ensure that all aspects of an organisation’s activities which impact accessibility & inclusion are covered.

This includes guidance on how to embed accessibility considerations into: procurement and selection of production tools and CMSes; outsourcing production to third-parties; assessment of accessibility risk and impact on budgets; and governance of inclusion across a portfolio of evolving digital products.

More specifically it helps practitioners ;

  • understand why digital inclusion and accessibility makes good business sense
  • embed accessibility responsibility strategically across key job-roles, and into key organisational and technical policies
  • embed accessibility into the software development lifecycle process for their products to ensure the accessibility impact of key development decisions is not missed, and accessibility is delivered in the most efficient way
  • adopt an informed way of making and documenting these decisions to provide a log which can be used for monitoring accessibility risk and proving conformance with the Standard
  • provide guidance on finding or researching detailed accessibility requirements for a broad range of digital products including: websites, mobile apps, VR/AR apps, smart speaker apps, kiosk apps, apps on in-flight and in-car entertainment systems, games on games consoles, and software in ATMs and Electronic Point of Sales systems

How it ISO 30071-1 different from BS 8878?

ISO 30071-1 is the internationalised form of, and replaces, the preceding British Standard BS 8878, which provided guidance to non-technical website owners for the whole process of commissioning and producing websites. It was published by the British Standards Institution in 2010.

ISO 30071-1 takes the best of BS 8878 and has extended it to make it even more appropriate to help the creation of digital products internationally in 2019:

  • While BS 8878 provided advice on how to create or procure accessible websites and mobile apps, ISO 30071-1 extends this to all digital products(or ICT systems, to use the language in the Standard) – including user experiences on VR/AR headsets, smart speakers, kiosks, in-flight and in-car entertainment systems, games consoles, ATMs and Electronic Point of Sales systems; it also considers the context of useof these products and what to do when the assistive technologies and accessibility guidelines that usually enable digital products to be accessible are not available on a device
  • ISO 30071-1 has taken BS 8878’s 16 step process for ensuring digital products are accessible when launched and maintained, and streamlined it into 8 activitiesthat can be integrated with whatever software development lifecycle methodology teams are using to create their products
  • ISO 30071-1 updates and clarifies the advice on the relationship between inclusive design and user-personalised approaches to accessibility, including when to consider providing additional personalised accessibility provisions
  • ISO 30071-1 updates BS 8878’s advice on business cases to make it more appropriate for the multiple and varied legislations in different countrieswhich encourage or mandate accessibility

How do I get the best out of ISO 30071-1?

At Hassell Inclusion, we have been training and supporting digital teams in the use of the forerunner to ISO 30071-1, BS 8878, throughout the 9 years since its launch. Many of our insights from this experience have improved the new Standard to ensure it reflects the reality of digital production in 2019

As such, we are the perfect people to train you in understanding and getting the best from the new Standard. We have helped many organisations embed accessibility in their policies, digital teams and processes, through training, strategic programmes of on-site and remote support, and assessment and certification of their conformance for BS 8878.

All of our services have already been updated for ISO 30071-1, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if we can help you.

Get ISO 30071-1

Purchase ISO 30071-1 from the ISO Shop.

Both books side by side.

Read Jonathan Hassell's books on ISO 30071-1: Inclusive Design for Organisations and Products – Including your missing 20% by embedding web and mobile accessibility

“For someone who wants to begin the process of implementing accessibility practice into their organisation, I see these books as essential”
Jennison Asuncion, Founder of Global Accessibility Awareness Day

The 2nd editions of our books are now available, updated for ISO 30071-1. They will take you on a journey to transform your organisation to consistently achieve the creation of websites and mobile apps that are usable for all your customers, at the most efficient cost.