Accessibility, in computer science, is the ability of a device, service or resource to be easily usable by any type of user. The term is commonly associated with the possibility, even for people with reduced or impeded sensory, motorial or mental capacity (i.e. with both temporary and permanent disabilities), to benefit from available computer systems and software resources.
While for private individuals, the accessibility of a website is an issue that is or not addressed to the discretion of webmasters, when it comes to public administration websites, Law nr. 4 dated 9 January 2004, “Provisions to facilitate the access of disabled persons to information technology tools”, as amended and supplemented, was enacted.
This Law, better known as “Stanca Law”, makes mandatory for public administration to comply with accessibility standards.
Usability is a concept defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard 9241 “Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs)” as “the degree to which a product can be used by specific users to perform certain tasks with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specific context of use”. It basically defines the extent of ease and satisfaction with which a human-artifact interaction takes place.
The dissemination of information using open formats (open data) is capable of opening up new scenarios and opportunities in terms of:
- Greater transparency of public administration;
- Improved access to information by citizens;
- Creation of new products and services by companies;
Indeed, open data allows for the reprocessing of information and its use to create innovative services: individual citizens and businesses can, for example, transform public administration databases into mobile device apps that are immediate and easy to use, as it is already happening in several cases both abroad and in Italy.
The basic idea, implemented in our country by the Digital Administration Code, is to enhance the public data collected and processed by public administration by expressly permitting their reuse.