Is there a legal requirement for public sector bodies’ websites and websites of publicly available services in your country to be accessible to all persons with disabilities?
“Public sector bodies” means the State, regional or local authorities, bodies or associations governed by public law. “Websites of publicly available services” means a website used to deliver a service made available to the public. For instance, educational establishments, leisure services employment services, health care, mutual services, etc. ‘Web-accessible’ means a website or web-based service (including those designed for mobile devices and/or use) which is easy to browse, navigate, understand, operate, interact with and use safely, securely, independently, and with dignity by a person with a disability under all circumstances (including emergency cases).If “Yes” or “Yes, with qualifications” please describe any significant differences between the legal situation and the reality of everyday life.

Relates to Convention Article:

  • No.9, Accessibility
  • No.21, Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information

In detail

Articles 9 and 21 cross over in the field of information and communication. Article 21 prescribes that States Parties shall “take all appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities can exercise the right to freedom of expression and opinion, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas on an equal basis with others and through all forms of communication of their choice”. In fact, Article 21 elaborates in more detail how the accessibility of information and communication can be ensured in practice. Inter alia, the State Parties shall provide information intended for the general public to persons with disabilities in accessible formats and technologies appropriate to different kinds of disabilities.

Private entities providing services to the general public, including through the Internet, are urged to provide information and services in accessible and usable formats for persons with disabilities (section (c)). Therefore the question asks for not only public sector bodies’ websites, but also websites of all publicly available services.