Accessibility of Public Sector Bodies’ Web Sites

December 5, 2012

The European Commission’s proposal for a new Directive aiming at the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States on the accessibility of web sites of public sector bodies has now been published. It can be accessed here

According to the Commission, over 100 million EU citizens would find it easier to use online public services to look for a job, register a car, submit a tax declaration and apply for a passport or driving licence if the new rules were in place. The Commission’s proposal would introduce mandatory EU standardised accessibility features, from the end of 2015, for 12 types of web sites. Mandatory accessibility would apply to essential government services like social security and health related services, job searches, university applications and issuing of personal documents and certificates. The proposed new rules would also clarify what web accessibility means (technical specs, methodology for assessment, reporting, bottom up testing), and governments would be encouraged to apply the rules across all services, not only the mandatory list.