What is JIS X 8341?
Japan has the highest proportion of an aging population in the world. By the year 2020, one in every three persons in Japan will be 65 years or older.
This, combined with the fact that about one in 20 people in Japan have some form of disability, there is a crucial need for accessibility in the country.
Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) X 8341 is the Japanese government’s standards for website accessibility. The standards aim to make websites accessible for the elderly, as well as for people with disabilities across Japan.
How did JIS X 8341 Evolve?
The problem of inadequate web accessibility was felt all over the country. To address this issue, organizations, individuals, web developers, web content providers, and web users came together to form the Japan Web Accessibility Consortium (JWAC). This is a certified nonprofit.
This organization aims to increase awareness about web accessibility and also participates in research activities that can help people with disabilities and older citizens have comfortable browsing experiences.
JIS X 8341 standards were established as Japan’s web content accessibility guidelines in 2004. These standards were then subsequently revised in 2010 to align to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0).
The JIS standards are updated every five years. The next update to JIS X 8341 is scheduled in 2021.
What Are the Standards in JIS X 8341?
Japan’s standards for website accessibility have the same principles, guidelines, and success criteria that WCAG 2.0 has. The four WCAG 2.0 principles that JIS X 8341 is based on as well are perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.
What is the Cost of Non-Compliance?
There are currently no penalties for non-compliance. However, as a nation, Japan has been taking a number of steps towards becoming a more inclusive society. For example, Japanese law states that local and central governments need to provide 2.5 percent of their jobs to people with disabilities. Other organizations need to meet a target of 2.2 percent. The government imposes sanctions against those who fail to meet these requirements. As more people with disabilities join the Japanese workforce, it becomes even more important to make websites, both external and internal, accessible to this workforce.