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Web Accessibility Laws and Policies

Introduction

This page lists governmental policies related to web accessibility, although it is not a comprehensive or definitive listing. We welcome additions or corrections to these listings via the submission form.

The information on this page is not legal advice. If you have questions about the applicability of the policies to specific situations, please consult legal authorities for the appropriate jurisdiction.

For guidance on developing an accessibility policy for an organization, see Developing Organizational Policies on Web Accessibility.

Terms used on this page

  • Law – A law has completed the legislation process, and is put into effect as the law of the land.
  • Policy – Outlines the goals of a government ministry or agency as well as the methods and principles to achieve those goals. Policies are not laws, but can lead to the development of laws.
  • Public sector – Includes government and government-run or owned entities, and entities that receive government funding.
  • Private sector – Businesses and organizations that are not part of the public sector, including non-profit organizations.
  • WCAG derivative - Used when a standard is based on a version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), but some requirements were excluded or modified or additional non-WCAG requirements were added.
  • Procurement law - A law that requires government purchase of accessible goods and services.
  • Procurement recommendation - An optional, but encouraged goal to purchase accessible goods and services.
  • Mandatory policy - Required accessibility goals or implementation that is not regulated by law.

Law and Policy Overview Table

Filter policies to show:

Overview Table:

Country Name Date enacted Type (Policy, law, legislation, etc.) Scope Web Only WCAG Version Used
Australia Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) 1992 Non-discrimination law Public sector, Private sector no WCAG 2.0
Australia Procurement Standard Guidance 2016 Procurement recommendation Government no WCAG 2.0
Canada Canadian Human Rights Act 1985 Non-discrimination law Public sector, Private sector no None
Canada Policy on Communications and Federal Identity 2016 Mandatory policy Government no WCAG 2.0
China (中国) Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities 1990, as amended 2008 Accessibility law Public, Private no None
China (中国) Voluntary Web Accessibility Standard 2008 Recommendation Government yes WCAG 2.0 derivative
Denmark (Danmark) Agreement on the use of open standards for software in the public sector 2007 Mandatory policy Public sector yes WCAG 2.0
European Union Web and Mobile Accessibility Directive 2016 Accessibility law Public sector, Private sector no WCAG 2.0
European Union European Accessibility Act (proposed) draft Proposed law Public sector, Private sector no WCAG 2.0 derivative
Finland (Suomi) Act on Electronic Services and Communication in the Public Sector 2003 Accessibility law Government no None
France (La France) Law N° 2005-102 Article 47 2005 Accessibility law Public sector no None
France (La France) Order of 29 April 2015 on the general accessibility framework for public administrations 2015 Policy Public sector yes WCAG 2.0 derivative
Germany (Deutschland) Act on Equal Opportunities for Disabled Persons of 2002 2002 Non-discrimination law Public sector, Private sector no None
Germany (Deutschland) Federal Ordinance on Barrier-Free Information Technology 2011 Accessibility law Government yes WCAG 2.0 derivative
Hong Kong (香港) Guidelines on Dissemination of Information through Government Websites 1999 Mandatory policy Government no WCAG 2.0
India Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPD) 2016 Non-discrimination law Public sector, Private sector no None
India Guidelines for Indian Government Websites 2009 Mandatory policy Government no WCAG 2.0
Ireland (Éireann) The Disability Act, 2005 2005 Accessibility law Public sector no None
Ireland (Éireann) Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2004 2004 Non-discrimination law Public sector, Private sector no WCAG 2.0
Ireland (Éireann) Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004 2004 Non-discrimination law Public sector, Private sector no None
Israel (יִשְׂרָאֵל) Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, as amended 1998 Non-discrimination law Public sector, Private sector no WCAG 2.0
Italy (Italia) Law 9 January 2004, n. 4 "Provisions to support the access of disabled people to IT tools" (Stanca Law) 2004 Accessibility law Public sector, Government no WCAG 2.0
Japan (日本国) Basic Act on the Formation of an Advanced Information and Telecommunications Network Society 2000 Accessibility law Public sector, Private sector no None
Netherlands (Nederland) Procurement Law 2012 2016 Procurement law Government no WCAG 2.0
Netherlands (Nederland) Policy in the Netherlands 2016 Mandatory policy Government, Public sector yes WCAG 2.0
New Zealand Human Rights Act 1993, including amendments 1993 Non-discrimination law Public sector, Private sector no None
New Zealand Online Practice Guidelines 2013 Mandatory policy Government yes WCAG 2.0
Switzerland (Suisse, Schweiz, Svizzera) Federal Law on the Elimination of Inequalities for Persons with Disabilities, as amended 2002 Non-discrimination law Public sector, Private sector no WCAG 2.0
United Kingdom Equality Act 2010 2010 Non-discrimination law Public sector, Private sector no WCAG 2.0
United States Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended 1998 Procurement law Government no WCAG 1.0 derivative
United States Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended 2009 Non-discrimination law Public sector, Private sector no None
United States Section 504 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended 1990 Non-discrimination law Public sector no WCAG 1.0 derivative
United States Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 1996 Accessibility law Public sector, Private sector no None
United States Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 2013 Non-discrimination law Private sector no WCAG 2.0
United States 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) 2010 Accessibility law Private sector no None

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