WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: WCAG and various Laws


From: Geof Collis
Date: Mar 30, 2010 12:33PM

Hi Christophe and All

Followed that link and I've pasted below
Countries that have some mention of Guidelines,
not sure how current some of them are though.




In conformity with the e-Europe Initiative,
Austria has committed itself to adjusting all
public web services according to the WAI level A.



AnySurfer (formerly BlindSurfer) is a collective
organization of Belgian’s largest organizations
for the blind and visually impaired. AnySurfer is mainly
known for granting quality labels (guidelines are
based on WCAG1). Both the Flemish and the Walloon
Government have formally accepted the revised AnySurfer
guidelines (released in July 2006) as the only
set of guidelines for testing public websites.



In principle, eGovernment services are available
to all citizens through an eGovernment portal.
National guidelines related to the Government Computerisation
Master Plan refer to WCAG 1.0 level A and to some
extent to level AA. Acoording to this, all public
websites should be accessible by the end of 2008.


Czech Republic

Government resolution No. 64, 7th February 2008
provides harmonisation with and implementation of
EU requirements. Among other things, the Ministry of Interior
was to prepare a standard on publishing
information that complies with the WAI
initiative. These recommendations were published to comprise altogether
33 rules putting together the three methodologies
used for eAccessibility (WCAG 2.0, Section 508
and Blind Friendly Web). This is a very detailed handbook
comprising 33 chapters and encompassing explanations and examples.



Although Denmark has adopted a non-legislative
approach towards accessibility of public
websites, the use of WAI guidelines has been made mandatory by the
public sector as of 1st January 2008 by means of
a formal agreement which spansthe federal,
regional and local district levels. This agreement is as a
result of Parliament Resolution B103 of September
2007 on the use of mandatory open standards for
software in the public sector. Prior to the resolution,
the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and
Innovation carried out a national review, and the
results indicated that there are still major obstacles
for eAccessibility on public websites.
Consequently, the Danish Minister of Science,
Technology and Innovation launched a number of measures directed towards
improving the current state of affairs. To begin
with, mandatory use of accessibility standards is
followed by an obligation to explain non-compliance
to the agreement (i.e., a comply or explain
principle). Moreover, from 2008 onwards there
will be an annual benchmarking that evaluates all public websites
against WCAG AA criteria, and the results will be published on the internet.



The Law for Equal Rights and Opportunities,
Participation and Citizenship of People with
Disabilities (Law n° 2005-102 of 11 February 2005), Article 47,
makes accessibility of all public online services
mandatory. Public digital communication services
(public websites in particular, but also phone and TV
services) must be accessible to people with
disabilities according to international
standards. The law does not specify further the services that are concerned,
nor does it refer to specific standards.

There is no direct legal or regulatory obligation
for the accessibility of private websites.



The Federal Disabled Equalization Law (BGG) and
the Federal Decree on Barrier-free Information
Technology (the so-called BITV regulation) are the main legal/regulatory
provisions for web accessibility. Section 11 of
the BGG stipulates an obligatory requirement on
federal public bodies to make their websites accessible
to people with disabilities by the end of 2005.
Under the BITV, guidelines are provided on how to
make public websites accessible to disabled users (based
on WAI WCAG 1.0). BITV required new sites to
conform immediately, content dedicated to people
with disabilities by the end of 2003, and others by the end
of 2005.



While there is no direct law onaccessibility of
public websites, the recently revised (2001)
Hellenic Constitution states that “everyone has the right
to participation in [the] Information Society.”
The facilitation of access to electronic
information, as well as the production, exchange and dissemination
of this information, is an obligation of the State.



Two subsequent decrees implemented the Law: the
Decree of the President of the Republic (March 1,
2005, No.75) containing the Implementation Regulations,
and the Ministerial Decree (July 8, 2005)
containing the Technical Rules. The technical
requirements were drafted with a view to having a shared consensus
with associations and companies and also to be
compliant with international recommendations
(ISO, W3C, Section 508 etc.). They can be periodically updated
whenever relevant changes are made to
international accessibility rules. An assessment
methodology was also developed. Public administrations may carry
out a self-assessment or use a third-party from a
list of officially recognised evaluators.



As the result of a cabinet committee decision,
all public websites must be in compliance with
web guidelines which include the W3C guidelines. The goal
is to achieve compliance for all public websites
to the standards of the ‘webrichtlijnen’
guidelines before 2010, though it appears that there are no sanctions
for non-compliance. Also, the first rule of the
interdepartmental style guide (2006) obliges
public websites to comply with this standard and there is
a commitment in the ‘Better Governance’ policy
(2003) that the government must be transparent,
effective, efficient and accessible for everyone.


On the basis of an Act on information systems of
public administration (2006), the Ministry of
Transport, Post and Telecommunications has published standards
for information systems which include
eAccessibility standards. On the basis of Article
13 of the Act, this standard makes compliance with WCAG 1.0 level
A mandatory, and includes some additional rules
from Levels AA and AAA. The standard is valid
from 1st August 2006 for new public websites and 2008 for
all public websites. Annual monitoring by the
responsible ministry has been carried out since
2006 and will be done 2 times a year starting in 2008. An
awareness-raising seminar is planned for public administrations in 2008.


United Kingdom
The COI guidelines set a minimum level of accessibility:

1. The minimum level of accessibility for all
Government websites is Level Double-A of the W3C
guidelines. Any new site approved by the Cabinet Sub-Committee
on Public Engagement and the Delivery of Service
(DA(PED)) must conform to these guidelines from the point of publication.
2. Continuing standalone sites must achieve this
level of accessibility by December 2008. Websites
which fail to meet the mandated level of conformance
shall be subject to the withdrawal process for
.gov.uk domain names, as set out in Naming and Registering Websites (TG101).



The Common Look and Feel Standards 2.0 were
approved by Treasury Board Ministers in December,
2006 and apply to all federal government websites. They adopt
W3C WCAG 1.0 and also provide additional web
accessibility regulations. They are mandatory for
all covered institutions, though there are no formal methods
of enforcement or sanctioning in place. Deputy
Ministers of the Government are responsible for
implementation within their departments. The standards are
intended to describe how to implement policy that
respects Canadian law including the Access to
Information Act and therefore non-compliance may be viewed
as a failure to meet obligations under that Act.


Taken from http://www.eaccessibility-progress.eu/country-profiles/