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Press release | Publication

Web Accessibility Directive: websites of public sector bodies must be accessible as of now

23 September 2020 marked an important milestone for internet users with disabilities. The Web Accessibility Directive has to be implemented by the public sector across the EU, so public website are accessible for persons with disabilities.

keyboard containing a key marked accessibility

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Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said:

Our daily lives become increasingly dependent on digital solutions and the Web is for many an essential part of this life. Technology must work for the people, that is why we want to make sure every citizen can access to digital public services.

Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton, added:

In the context of the digital transformation, web accessibility responds to a growing societal need as the EU population ages and more essential services have moved online during the coronavirus pandemic. All Europeans should be able to participate in society and benefit from technology.

Currently 5 million persons with disabilities in the EU do not use the internet (.pdf) due to some form of disability. According to the Directive, all users should be able to perceive, operate, and understand public sector websites, the content of which must also be designed so it can be interpreted by assistive technologies, such as screen readers. After public sector websites, the next step concerns mobile apps of public sector bodies that will have to be accessible from June 2021.