Firm Ground


Taking digital accessibility
to a higher level

the approach at the National Library of The Netherlands (KB)

A-Tag, October 10, 2019
Bram Duvigneau

Case: National Library (KB)

Reading room National Library

Logo of the National Library

  • National library
  • Public libraries online
  • Autonomous administrative body
  • > 80 websites
  • > 400 employees

The KB and digital accessibility

  • The KB is there for everyone.
  • The KB wants to comply with laws and policies.
  • Senior management asked what should be done

Organizational approach

Not just a challenge

with 'technical aspects',

also contains

'policy, process and social components'


Don't Do
Focus on technology Organisation, processes
(part of the) corporate web site) All processes, services
and channels
Finished product Whole lifecycle
Just a team
without mandate
Support from management
and implemented across the whole organization
Almost no capacity Accessibility coordinator four days a week
Ad hoc Well-defined, continuous processes


  1. Do
  2. Strategy, policy and safeguarding
Foto gebouw KB

1. Do

Knowledge building

Awareness sessions

  • Over 200 employees have attended up till now
    • Departments, such as communication/marketing, GRC, legal, procurement
    • Management
    • Open for all employees

Next step: role-based training

Priorities, expanding and focus

  • Logo National Library
  • Logo Delpher
  • E-book app

Educate coordinator and experts

Accessibility Officer and related departments. Accessibility officer is in the middle and has relationships with HR, ICT, procurement, web editors, developers, GRC (governance, risk management and complicance) and legal, branding

Building knowledge on the job

Example: developer

  • Audit against WCAG 2.1 AA using the WCAG-EM evaluation method
  • Quickscans
  • Assist during development and help fixing problems

Consultation hours

Consultation hours. Four people are seated around a table, discussing something. One of t hem is showing her laptop screen to the others.

Style guide and accessibility

screenshot low contrast and good contrast. The image is showing the old KB logo to the left, with the letters 'KB' in yellow (low contrast on white background). the new logo is totally in black-white (high contrast). Below is a block with social media icons, light-gray and white (low contrast). The new style has black icons on a blue background (high contrast).

Magazine for employees

screenshot rotonde

Intranet: articles

screenshot: article about types of colour blindness

Next step: internal communication campaign

2. Strategy, policy and safeguarding

Steering group

  • Strategic decisions
  • Progress
  • Priorities
  • Budget
  • Mandate
Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM). Vijf treden op een trap, van onder naar boven de termen zoals Iacobien ze heeft vertaald en tussen haakjes de officiƫle benamingen uit het DAMM: 1. Ad hoc (Initial) 2. Herhaalbaar (Managed) 3. Gestandaardiseerd (Defined) 4. In control (Quantitatively managed) 5. Verfijning (Optimizing)

Digital Accessibility Maturity Model

10 dimensies DAMM in een staafdiagram met per dimensie 2 staven: 1 'lege' staaf met vraagtekens als waarden en 1 groene staaf die het maximum van 5 verbeeldt. 1. GRC (Governance, Risk Management and Compliance) 2. Communicatie (Communications) 3. Beleid en standaarden (Policies and Standards) 4. Juridische zaken (Regulatory) 5. Budget en investeringen (Fiscal Management)  6. Levenscyclus en ontwikkelingen (The Development Lifecycle) 7. Testen en valideren (Testing and Validation) 8. Support en documentatie (Support and Documentation) 9. Aanbesteding en inkoop (Procurement) 10. Training (Training)

Baseline measurement on 10 dimensions

To be continued

Accessibility is not a project.

Getting it started is.


  1. With accessible digital services you will reach more people. And digital accessibility is required by law.
  2. Buy-in from senior management is an important factor for success.
  3. To be in control of accessibility you need support from the whole organization.
    Inform and involve.
  4. Decide who is responsible.
  5. Know where you are and set priorities:
    start an inventory project.

Coffee pot for masochists. The handle and the pouring spout of the coffee pot are on the same side of the pot, making it hard to pour a cup without getting burned.

Coffee pot for masochists - Jacques Carelmann.


Bram Duvigneau

+31 (0)313 312 132

Firm Ground