Standard for making websites and apps accessible
ETSI publishes standard for accessibility requirements for ICT products and services in the public sector.
SW – 08/2018
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is one of three major European standardisation organisations and is responsible for developing European standards and specifications in the field of telecommunications.
Standard EN 301 549 V2.1.2 sets out the functional accessibility requirements for ICT products and services. It also describes test procedures and evaluation methods for each accessibility requirement in a form that is suitable for use in public procurement in Europe, and which can also be potentially useful for procurement in the private sector.
The standard was prepared in accordance with the European Commission’s standardisation request C(2017)2585 final, ETSI No M/554, in order to have a voluntary tool to comply with the essential requirements of Directive 2016/2102 on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies. This standard may serve as presumption of conformity with the relevant essential requirements of this Directive and the associated EFTA Regulations.
The ‘Web Accessibility Directive’, which came into force in December 2016, aims to approximate Member States’ laws and regulations on the accessibility requirements for websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies. The Directive requires all public sector bodies in the European Union to make their websites and apps accessible.
Member States must transpose the Directive into national law by 23 September 2018 (see DSV article). The following deadlines apply to the websites of public sector bodies: As of 23 September 2019, the measures will be applied to all websites published after 23 September 2018. From September 23, 2020, the rules will then apply to all websites, and from 23 June 2021 to all mobile applications.
The European Disability Forum (EDF) has published a toolkit which summarises key information and provides guidance for the implementation phase.
Member States are required to inform the Commission by 23 September 2018 of which body is responsible for enforcing the Directive. By December 2021, and every three years thereafter, Member States will submit a report to the Commission concerning the extent to which websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies comply with accessibility requirements. The Commission shall adopt implementing acts for establishing a method of monitoring and the arrangements for reporting by the Member States to the Commission. The first implement act will be adopted by the Commission by 23 December 2018. The Commission shall review the application of the Directive by 2022.