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Policies Relating to Web Accessibility

sections of this page: Abstract - Status - Contents - Introduction
countries on this page: AU - CA - DE - DK - ES - EU - FI - FR - HK - IN - IT - JA - NZ - PT - UK - US
related pages: AU States - US States

Abstract

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

This page is under continual development. Should you be aware of additional legislation or policies beyond those listed here, corrections needed, or developments related to legislation listed here, please contact wai-eo-editors@w3.org.

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; Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission; Federal Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

Relevant Documents:

Additional information:

Canada

Legislation: Canadian Human Rights Act of 1977

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

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

Denmark

Legislation: -

Responsible Ministry: Ministry of Research and Information Technology [Danish: Ministeriet for Videnskab Teknologi og Udvikling]

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

European Union

Legislation: -

Responsible Ministry: European Commission, Information Society

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

Finland

Legislation: -

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

Relevant documents:

France

Legislation: -

Jurisdiction: -

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

Germany

Legislation: [German: Barrierefreie Informationstechnik Verordnung (BITV)] [PDF file]

Responsible Ministry: -

Hong Kong

Legislation: -

Responsible Ministry: -

Relevant documents: -

Additional information:

India

Legislation: -

Responsible Ministry: -

Relevant documents:

Additional information: -

Ireland

Legislation: -

Responsible Ministry: Department of the Taioseach and Government Information Services

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

Italy

Legislation: -

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: -

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

Relevant documents:

Portugal

Legislation: Council of Ministers Resolution 97/99 on Accessibility of Government Web Sites

Responsible Ministry: -

Relevant Documents:

Additional information:

Spain

Legislation: [2002] LAW 34/2002, of 11 of July, services of the information society and electronic commerce [Spanish: LEY 34/2002, de 11 de julio, de servicios de la sociedad de la información y de comercio electrónico (LSSICE)]

Responsible Ministry: Ministry of Science and Technology [Spanish: Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología], regional governments [Spanish: Comunidades Autónomas]

Relevant documents: -

Additional information:

United Kingdom

Legislation: Disability Discrimination Act of 1995

Jurisdiction: Department of Education and Employment, Ministry of Equal Opportunities; Disability Rights Commission; Office of the e-Envoy

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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Last revised: 30 April 2003 by Shawn Henry

Editors: Shawn Henry, Alan Chuter, Judy Brewer
Contributors: Participants of the Education and Outreach Working Group

Comments welcome at <wai-eo-editors @w3.org>


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