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WAI: Strategies, guidelines, resources to make the Web accessible to people with disabilities

Policies Relating to Web Accessibility

Page Contents

countries on this page: AU - CA - CH - DE - DK - ES - EU - FI - FR - HK - IL - IN - IT - JA - NZ - PT - UK - US
related pages: AU States - CA Provinces - US States

Disclaimer

The policy links on this page are compiled as a resource by the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG). This page is not a comprehensive or definitive resource for all applicable laws and policies regarding Web accessibility. The information contained on this page is not legal advice. If you have questions about the applicability of the referenced laws to specific situations, please consult legal authorities in the appropriate jurisdiction.

Status and Updates

This page is under continual development. If you know of additional legislation or policies in addition to those listed here, corrections needed, or developments related to legislation listed here, please see Submitting Updates to Policies Relating to Web Accessibility.

Contents

Introduction

The Web's emergence as a pivotal form of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) raises interesting questions about application of existing laws and policies to this new medium, and the importance of all members of society, including people with disabilities, being able to access this information medium.

There is a growing body of national laws and policies which address accessibility of ICT, including the Internet and the Web. There is also great variety of approaches among these laws and policies: some take the approach of establishing a human or civil right to ICT; others the approach that any ICT purchased by government must be accessible; others that any ICT sold in a given market must be accessible; and there are still other approaches.

The links on this page provide a starting point for locating information on government policies relating to Web accessibility in different countries around the world. Information linked from this page may include laws, regulations, policies, directives, government-related standards or guidelines, or implementation guidance which relates to Web accessibility, as well as government speeches, press releases, etc. Links are roughly grouped under the following categories: laws, responsible ministries, relevant documents, discussion, and additional information or comments. Since legal practices, and terminology regarding legal practices, vary from country to country, categorization of information on this page is approximate, not definitive.

Absence of links to policies in a given country does not indicate that that country does not have, or is not in the process of establishing, policies regarding Web accessibility. If you are aware of information which should be included on this page, please notify us as explained in the status section above.

A separate document, Developing Organizational Policies on Web Accessibility, addresses issues which frequently arise when establishing policies on Web accessibility. These include, for instance, simple and comprehensive sample policy statements; conformance levels for Web sites as well as Web related software; defining the scope, milestones, and monitoring processes for Web accessibility, and more.


Australia

related page: AU States

Legislation: Disability Discrimination Act 1992

Responsible Ministry: Attorney General's Department; Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

Relevant Documents:

Additional information:

Canada

related page: CA Provinces

Legislation: Canadian Human Rights Act of 1977

Responsible Ministry: Attorney General; Canadian Human Rights Commission; Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat

Relevant documents:

Denmark

Legislation: -

Responsible Ministry: [Danish] Ministeriet for Videnskab, Teknologi og Udvikling (Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation)

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

European Union

Legislation: -

Responsible Ministry: European Commission, Information Society

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

Finland

Legislation: -

Responsible Ministry: [Finnish] Sisäasiainministeriö (Ministry of the Interior), [Finnish] Julkisen hallinnon tietohallinnon neuvottelukunta (JUHTA) (Advisory Committee on Information Management in Public Administration)

Relevant documents:

France

Legislation: -

Jurisdiction: -

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

Germany

Legislation: [German] Gesetz zur Gleichstellung behinderter Menschen und zur Änderung anderer Gesetze vom 27. April 2002 [PDF file] (Act on Equal Opportunities for Disabled Persons of 27 April 2002)

Responsible Ministry: [German] Bundesministerium für Gesundheit und Soziale Sicherung (BMGS) (Federal Ministry of Health and Social Security [formerly at: http://www.bmgs.bund.de/eng/gra/index.cfm])

Relevant Documents:

Hong Kong

Legislation: -

Responsible Ministry: -

Relevant documents: -

Additional information:

India

Legislation: -

Responsible Ministry: -

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

Ireland

Legislation: The Disability Act, 2005 [PDF file]; The Equal Status Act, 2000; The Employment Equality Act, 1998

Responsible Ministry: Department of the Taioseach and Government Information Services

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

Israel

Legislation: [Hebrew] חוק שוויון זכויות לאנשים עם מוגבלות, התשנ"ח - 1998 (The Equal Rights for People with Disabilities Law 5758-1998 [DOC File])

Responsible ministry: [Hebrew] נציבות שוויון לאנשים עם מוגבלות (Commission for Equal Rights for sPeople with Disabilities)

Relevant documents:

Italy

Legislation: [Italian] Legge Stanca - "Disposizioni per favorire l'accesso dei soggetti disabili agli strumenti informatici", January 2004 (Provisions to support the access to information technologies for the disabled)

Responsible ministry: -

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

Japan

Legislation: -

Responsible Ministry: Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

New Zealand

Legislation: The Human Rights Act 1993; Human Rights Amendment Act 2001

Responsible Ministry: State Services Commission; Government Information System Managers' Forum (GOVIS)

Relevant documents:

Portugal

Legislation: [Portuguese version formerly at http://www.mct.pt/novo/legislacao/despachos/cneinter.htm], 1999 ( Resolution of the Council of Ministers Concerning the Accessibility of Public Administration Web Sites for Citizens with Special Needs)

Responsible Ministry: -

Relevant Documents:

Additional information:

Spain

Legislation: [Spanish] LEY 34/2002, de 11 de julio, de servicios de la sociedad de la información y de comercio electrónico (LSSICE) [PDF file], 2002 (LAW 34/2002, of 11 of July, services of the information society and electronic commerce).
Accessibility addressed in [Spanish] "Quinta. Accesibilidad para las personas con discapacidad y de edad avanzada a la información proporcionada por medios electrónicos." ("Fifth. Accessibility for elderly and disabled persons to information provided by electronic media") on page 293.

Responsible Ministry: [Spanish] Ministerio de Industria Turismo y Comerico; [Spanish] Comunidades Autónomas, (Regional Governments)

Relevant documents: -

Additional information:

Switzerland

Legislation: [French] Loi sur l’égalité pour les handicapés; [French] Ordonnance sur l’égalité pour les personnes handicapées

Responsible Ministry: [French] Bureau de l’égalité pour les handicapés (BFEH) (Federal Bureau for the Equality of People with Disabilities FBED)

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

 

United Kingdom

Legislation:

Jurisdiction: -

Relevant Documents:

Additional information:

United States of America

in this section: 255 - 504 - 508 - ADA
related page: US States

(USA) Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act

Legislation: Telecommunications Act of 1996

Responsible Ministry: Federal Communications Commission; Access Board

Relevant Documents:

Additional information:

(USA) Rehabilitation Act, Section 504

Legislation: Rehabilitation Act, Section 504 (1973)

Responsible Ministry: Department of Justice; Department of Education

Relevant Documents:

Additional information: -

(USA) Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, Section 508

Legislation: Rehabilitation Act, Section 508 (1986, amended 1992, amended 1998)

Jurisdiction: Department of Justice; Access Board; General Services Administration

Relevant Documents:

Additional information:

(USA) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Legislation: Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)

Responsible Ministry: US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

Relevant Documents:

Additional information:

Other Countries?

If you are aware of other national legislation or policies relating to Web Accessibility, please send any available URI's to <wai-eo-editors@w3.org>.

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