29 Sep 2014

DIGITALEUROPE Position on standards in the web accessibility directive

DIGITALEUROPE Position on standards in the web accessibility directive

DIGITALEUROPE takes the opportunity of the upcoming Council first reading of the Proposal for a directive on the accessibility of public sector bodies’ websites to stress two points that should be addressed in order for the directive to deliver the expected benefits to European citizens: the structure of the directive and the standards that it references.

The success of this directive is highly dependent on which standard(s) it will reference and on how conformity will be enforced. DIGITALEUROPE’s position is that the directive should explicitly and directly reference the mature and global standard ISO/IEC 40500 (level AA) to assess the compliance of public WEB sites with the directive requirements. This is the only solution that prevents fragmentation, delivers proven accessibility in the shortest time frame using existing knowledge and tools at the lowest cost.

In this context, the content of articles 3 and 4 of the directive should be revised and simplified to explicitly reference the international standard ISO/IEC 40500 as the standard to be used to assess the compliance of public WEB sites with the directive requirements.

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