Accessibility and Sehir Hatlari

No Barriers to Share Life

The concept of accessibility means that all products and services can be used in the same way by everyone without the need for additional support or regulation.

Within the framework of the accessibility principle, services that are developed with an inclusive approach from the first stage are handled with a view called universal design.

Sehir Hatlari A.S., which is a subsidiary of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, develops its services with an understanding of accessibility, continues its efforts to make the best use of all individuals with limited mobility or visual impairment from all the services it offers as a pioneer in maritime passenger transportation.

Accessibility in the website and mobile app

In this direction, the organization has organized the web site and mobile application address of http://www.sehirhatlari.istanbul, in an accessible way and has transformed it into a content and format that will provide ease of use to individuals with limited mobility or visual difficulties.

In this study of Sehir Hatlari A.S., standards developed by ISO, WCAG2.1 published by World Web Association and the principles shown in detail in the accessibility section of public web sites developed by TUBITAK were taken into consideration.

In this context, in order to fulfill the requirements of international and national legislation and to offer services equally to all citizens, accessibility studies were carried out on the website and mobile application of the Sehir Hatlari A.S. in http://www.sehirhatlari.istanbul,  in accordance with the criteria in these standards.

While carrying out the studies, attention was paid to ensure compliance with the principles of perceptibility, processability, intelligibility and soundness specified in the standards.

In 2018, the works completed with the support of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality's accessibility unit formed the following principles:

*All fields such as headers, buttons, links, tables in web page and mobile application can be easily detected by screen readers and similar auxiliary technologies.

*The simple language used in the web site and mobile application was made easy to understand by users.

On the page and in the application, search, selection and all other operations, including those who use screen readers paved the way.

Improvements and applied solutions were carried out with the same level of stability on all screens.

Visual spaces and icon-like buttons and links are given the opportunity to make them more understandable with the necessary texts.

In order to enable fast access to the desired areas and roaming on screens, solutions such as headings, table and list arrangements have contributed to a more practical user experience.

Columns and row headings can be read in a proper way and the tables are better understood.

Contrast colors are preferred on the website and mobile application, allowing users to be more distinguished.

By allowing users to change the size of the font size, it is possible to make adjustments according to the needs by the low vision users.

Moving content was stopped and other controls were performed.

Accessibility also at the forefront in maritime transport

With its understanding that accessibility is one of the most important public transportation criteria, Sehir Hatlari A.S. attaches great importance to having Accessible Scaffolding and Sea Vessels in existing and newly built vessels and berths.

The Sehir Hatlari A.S., which carry on their activities with the awareness of ‘Do not have obstacles to share life’, continue their work in order to make the most of citizens who have difficulty in mobility or visually impaired.

Sehir Hatlari A.S. provides easy and safe access to the pier, sea vessels and people with mobility limitation or visually impaired persons who perform their transportation with free travel cards, with sloping ramps, guide plates, alternative information, sensible ground applications and guideway applications in accordance with the standards.

In this context, the slope of the entrance of the pier does not exceed sixty percent and the surface of the non-slip ground material ramps made of materials, people with limited mobility or vision difficulties, the door of the sea vessels can reach the doorless and non-threshold.

Directional signposts and signs on the berths within the Sehir Hatlari A.S. are designed with people with limited mobility or visual impairments. In the ferry, informative and stimulating announcements are made for the people with limitation of movement or vision, and space and seats are allocated for more comfortable travel.
The organization aims to continue its efforts by appraising and applying all kinds of suggestions and criticism from its passengers related to accessibility studies.

The legal basis of accessibility

The ninth article of the convention entitled Accessibility states: States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities live independently and participate effectively in all areas of life, and the physical environment, transportation, and information and communication facilities of persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others, including information and communication technologies and systems and take appropriate measures to ensure that they have access to other facilities and services open to public in rural and urban areas.

These measures, including the detection and elimination of access-blocking reasons, among others, apply to the following:
  • Buildings, roads, transportation vehicles and other indoor and outdoor facilities including schools, houses, health facilities and workplaces;
  • Information and communication tools and other services, including electronic services and emergency services.

In addition, in the twenty-first article entitled Freedom of Thought and Expression and Access to Information, it has been reported that the States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to exercise the right to use all means of communication of persons with disabilities, to exercise information and ideas, to receive and give information and to enjoy them under equal conditions from the freedom of thought and expression.

In this context, it is ensured that the information intended to be made available to the public is presented in a manner that is accessible to persons with disabilities and with appropriate technologies for different disability groups, without any additional cost.

In this article, it is obligatory to encourage the private organizations providing public services to provide information and services in a way that the disabled individuals, including the internet, can be accessed and used.

The Law No. 5378 on Accessible Persons with Disabilities, which is stated in the seventh clause of the Act on Accessibility, has been expressed in accordance with the contract and in its last paragraph added in 2014, it is said that Information services and communication technology are accessible to persons with disabilities.