Digital Accessibility, a Regulation Everyone Benefits from !

chatbot, digital accessibility, conversational technology, technology, information

Conversational technology is the easiest way to access information. Dydu was founded on this belief 10 years ago and it continues to be true today. Bringing technology closer to man as opposed to forcing man to adapt to technology has finally become a priority. But what may seem obvious in theory, is more complicated and labour-intensive in reality, especially if the aim is to reach each individual, with their own specific characteristics.

The Regulations

There are a lot of regulations surrounding digital accessibility, which consists in making online services accessible to people with disabilities. In France, General Accessibility Guidelines (RGAA) are issued by the Interministerial Digital Directorate (DINUM), the fourth and latest version of which were published in October 2020. 

These guidelines do not apply to all organisations and companies. For some, the regulations are compulsory, such as digital public services and, more broadly, communication services for the public managed by legal entities under public law (local authorities, etc.), private companies delegated with public service or general interest missions, private companies with public sector participation, and companies with an annual revenue of more than 250 million euros. For others, digital accessibility may be a part of their inclusion strategy, as more and more companies are incorporating these guidelines into their digital strategy.

Chatbot Accessibility

A lot of dydu’s clients are required by law to comply with the RGAA standards and are regularly audited. For dydu, beyond the regulations, this approach is a priority to ensure the coherence of our products and the values of accessibility we have developed since day one. Although compliance with the RGAA regulations is our client’s responsibility, we make sure to incorporate this aspect into our solution and to provide advice when needed. 

A bot is made up of 3 parts: the motor (natural language processing algorithm), the content consisting of the knowledge base, and the user interface part that is the chatbox. Digital accessibility applies to the last two items. Our solution ensures that our clients are in full capacity to comply.

As such, we have integrated the RGAA standards that apply to dydu as a content editor (WYSIWYG) into our Bot Management System, which covers images, lists, attachments, anchors, bold formatting, iframes, links and tables.

The design of our dydubox – a default chatbox that can be customised without code by our clients – also takes into account the RGAA guidelines and ensures that our clients are fully compliant with the rules. This is the case for headers, footers, titles, buttons, visible links, the navigation, generic chatbox content (satisfaction bubbles, GDPR text, etc.) and the selection of the language used. Our design is compliant, but our clients can modify it via the dydubox interface and can therefore move away from the RGAA criteria if they so wish. Dydu has therefore created a document to list the areas requiring particular attention and the rules to apply in order to remain fully compliant.

Dydu’s goal is to enable bot administrators and managers to configure RGAA-compliant content automatically, without changing the source code, while maintaining the end-user experience. Users should be able to easily obtain a bot’s content or locate possibilities to discover content that is better suited to their situation, such as the description of an image.

These regulations don’t apply to all organisations. Administrations, public and para-public sector organisations, as well as all large companies are bound to comply, and although in theory everyone should, it can be difficult for smaller organisations. The final decision lies with our clients. We do everything in our power to ensure that they can be fully compliant. Digital accessibility is at the heart of our values and our product strategy.

Katia Houbiguian
Customer Experience and Marketing Director