Navigating Digital Accessibility in Legislative Solutions: Challenges, Strategies, and Recommendations

Strategic Partners



As legislative bodies grapple with digitisation, a crucial challenge they face lies in the realm of user interface (UI) design. The task at hand is twofold: to ensure that digital solutions are accessible to all, including people with disabilities, and to update legacy systems that may not align with contemporary expectations for usability and accessibility. This essay dissects the concerns, strategies, and proposed solutions surrounding UI in legislative solutions.


Understanding the Legacy


Digitisation in the legislative arena did not emerge overnight. A substantial amount of investment and labour has been poured into the construction of digital platforms over the years. This has led to a substantial body of legacy software. Initially, there was no market for legislative digital platforms, necessitating custom creation of platforms.


These platforms are now entering their fourth life cycle, with developers eyeing the possibilities of composable architecture and greater integration of pre-built solutions. However, this transition is not straightforward; there is a balance to strike between adopting more off-the-shelf solutions and meeting the specific needs of the organisation, particularly in terms of accessibility requirements. This necessitates careful roadmap planning, iterative development, and creativity in budgeting to ensure that the organisation can adapt these ageing platforms for modern accessibility standards.


Accessibility in Custom Application Development


Accommodating accessibility standards into legacy platforms is a significant task. It’s a journey that requires patience and detailed planning, particularly when working with a custom application development platform. The goal is to rebuild or recompose these platforms so that they’re accessible from inception, rather than retrofitting them as an afterthought.


Balancing the needs of different stakeholders is crucial. Working closely with business partners across different departments, such as procedural services and the legal office, can help strike the right balance between business transformation and product enhancement.


Vendor-Provided Platforms and Cloud Solutions


Shifting towards vendor-provided platforms and cloud-based solutions offers new opportunities for improving accessibility. Engaging with vendors’ engineering teams can provide insight into potential accommodations and compliance requirements, thereby aiding in contract negotiations or decisions to modify existing agreements.


Adopting low-code or no-code platforms like Dynamic CRM, ServiceNow, and Microsoft SharePoint provides greater latitude to amend UI elements, a significant advantage given the growing focus on accessibility in the vendor community. Nevertheless, assembling and composing third-party products can present challenges in terms of understanding each product’s limitations and assessing its accessibility gap.


A Seamless Service Experience


Creating a seamless, accessible service experience for customers requires careful management of high-code, low-code, and third-party acquired products. It is essential for technology providers to understand the landscape, plan well in advance, and advocate for necessary changes to ensure compliance with accessibility legislation. At the heart of it all is a simple aim: creating a more usable and enjoyable product for all users.


WiFi Accessibility and Global Considerations


While focusing on product development, it is also essential to consider the global digital landscape. Differences in Wi-Fi accessibility and download speeds across different regions present a significant challenge to the consistent use of these platforms. Similarly, the size of email messages and the capacity of servers can impact the usability of digital solutions in certain jurisdictions. In this regard, innovative solutions like government-supported VPNs and data dongles offer potential ways forward.




The journey towards improved UI in legislative solutions is complex, yet necessary. To meet the evolving expectations of diverse user bases, legislative bodies must adapt their strategies to address the legacy of previous platforms, the promises of new vendor-provided solutions, the complexity of incorporating accessibility requirements, and the variability of global digital landscapes. With a blend of technical innovation, strategic planning, and thoughtful engagement with stakeholders, the challenge of digital accessibility in legislative solutions can be met head-on.

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