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?

Explanation

“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.

In detail

A drastic 50% of respondents reported that there is no local legal enforcement and/or sanctions on inaccessibility of public sector websites, the main impediment being the absence of national legal requirements, regulations and mechanisms in place for public sector body’s websites and publicly available service websites to be accessible to all persons with disabilities. The main issues spotted were:

  • Partial arrangements on websites: not all information on public websites are accessible to all, for example, they may be limited to large print options, and commonly exclude adaptions to cognitive disability
  • The lack of implementation mechanisms for regulations relies on the absence of coherent procedures and standards to make national websites accessible.
  • In some countries the underlying issues of non-implementations rely on the high IT illiteracy rate among persons with disabilities

In some countries however, monitoring systems are in place. In Austria for instance, penalties are given in case of non-compliance with the legal requirements of the ECG and the Federal Disability Discrimination Act.