Information for countries

Netherlands

Website Accessibility - Article 21

  1. Is there existing legislation in your country to encourage or ensure that websites, in particular government, public service or other sites providing widespread services of general use (such as hiring services, travel, telephony, energy, education, employment, leisure...) are accessible to visually impaired people? Please be sure to specify in your answer to which categories of site the regulation(s) apply.


    No, except for non-discrimination legislation that is however not easily applicable to the web.

    In The Netherlands there is no formal legislation to ensure accessibility. There is however an agreement between the national government and the local governments (soft law) to ensure that all public websites are accessible at the end of 2014. From the end of 2010 onwards an implementation programme has been started. Progress is checked and the results are published on a regular basis.

  2. What are the standards that are used in your country to measure website accessibility?


    WCAG 2 and Dutch Government Web Guidelines. The Webguidelines include the full WCAG recommendation and some additional guidelines for the quality of Dutch eGovernment websites.

  3. Is there an authority in place to establish, measure and control website accessibility?


    Yes. Three organisations have formal accreditation as an inspection organisation (ISO/IEC 17020) and are entitled to carry out these measurements. These organisations are entitled to certify websites with the accessibility logo “drempelvrij”.

  4. Is there a legal obligation to regularly review the accessibility of websites?


    No. But websites certified with the accessibility logo called: www.drempelvrij.nl  have to be checked every year to hold the certificate.

    If yes, at what intervals?
    No legal obligation. For the Drempelvrij.nl certificate there is a regular third party check every year.

  5. Is there an established timeframe for

    1. new websites to be made accessible?
      if yes what is it ?

      No, for non government websites

      Yes, for national and local governments and for all websites that fall directly under the ministerial responsibility.
      National government deadline: 2006
      Local governments deadline: 2010

    2. existing websites to be made accessible?
      if yes what is it ?

      No, for non government websites

      Yes, for national and local governments and for all websites that fall directly under the ministerial responsibility.
      National government deadline: 2010
      Local governments deadline: 2014

  6. What sanctions are imposed by the law for websites which fail to comply with accessibility regulations?


    At this time there is no legal obligation for governmental bodies to make their websites accessible. There is only soft law as mentioned before. But the national government has announced regulatory mandates in the second half of 2012 if there is no progress and legislation at the end of 2014 if governmental bodies fail to make their websites accessible under the soft law.

  7. Is there a legal obligation to include awareness of accessibility issues in training provided to webmasters and related professions?


    No obligation exists.

  8. Is there a legal obligation on educational authorities to provide specific training on Web accessibility issues in related areas (such as engineering and computer sciences, telecommunications and networks courses, etc)?


    No obligation exists.

  9. Are there official guidelines in place to assist webmasters and technical staff in making their websites accessible?


    Yes

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