Legislation

The links on this page have been collected from the Web Accessibility website and 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.


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:

  • [Danish] Handicap ingen hindring, 2002 (Disability, No Problem (Action plan for use of information technologies and telecommunication by people with disabilities))
  • Action for Change: IT Policy Plan [formerly at http://www.fsk.dk/fsk/publ/1997/action97/] , 1997
  • Freedom to Choose: Action Plan for IT Use by People with Disabilities [formerly at http://www.fsk.dk/fsk/publ/1997/freedom/], 1996
  • [Danish] Netpublikationer – Statens standard for elektronisk publicering (Internet Publications – Standards for Electronic Publishing)
  • [Danish] Rapport fra Arbejdsgruppen om tilgængelighed og grafiske brugergrænseflader, 1998 (Report from a working group on accessibility and graphical user interfaces) [formerly at http://www.fsk.dk/fsk/div/270298-2/]

Additional information:

European Union

Legislation: –

Responsible Ministry: European Commission, Information Society

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

  • EC: Speech from Commissioner Erkki Liikanen on “Making Websites Accessible to People with Disabilities” [formerly at: http://europa.eu.int/information_society/topics/citizens/accessibility/web/wai_2002/cec_lkn_speech_web_wai_2001/index_en.htm]
  • Draft petition for accessibility of the Internet in the European Union [formerly at http://www.acessibilidade.net/eeurope/], 1999
  • Request for feedback on draft petition by Francisco Godinho of PASIG [formerly at http://www.acessibilidade.net/index_eng.html], 1999

Finland

France

Legislation: –

Jurisdiction: –

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

  • Translation of extract from government circular: “People responsible for web site will particularly pay attention to provide access to information to all Internet users, notably people with disabilities, blind users, visually impaired or hearing impaired. They will find on the MTIC site [formerly at http://www.mtic.pm.gouv.fr/standards/accessibilite/] a document on this topic. They can also refer to the level 1 recommendations of the World Wide Web Consortium devoted to accessibility of Web Content which are available at the same address.

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

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:

  • Taioseach Launches New Guidelines for User Friendly Public Sector Web Sites [formerly at http://www.irlgov.ie/taoiseach/press/current/16-11-99.htm]

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:

  • Directive of the Government of Italy regarding Web Accessibility [formerly at http://www.governo.it/sez_dossier/linee_web/direttiva.html]

Additional information:

Japan

Legislation: –

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

Relevant documents:

Additional information:

  • The Role of Universal Design: Closing the Gap of Digital Divide in Japan [PDF file]

New Zealand

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

United Kingdom

Legislation:

Jurisdiction: –

Relevant Documents:

Additional information:

United States of America

in this section: 255504 508ADA
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:

  • Hooks vs. OKBridge, No. 99-50891, Brief of the United States as Amicus Curiae in Support of Appellant. Addresses issues including “Whether a company that offers services solely on the internet is subject to the public accommodations provision of Title III of the ADA.”
  • Opinion issued by the US DOJ in September, 1996 discussing the applicability of ADA Titles II and III to accessibility of the Web.

Additional information:

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