Web Accessibility Directive:
Frequently Asked Questions

These are frequently asked questions and answers on the EU Web Accessibility Directive.

The objective of this website is to support the implementation of the Directive and to provide reliable information and resources to those involved in buying, designing and monitoring websites or mobile applications, as well as users. This website is maintained by the Web Accessibility Initiative - Communities of Practice (WAI-CooP) Project.

14. Where can I find information about web accessibility standards?

In 2021 the European Commission published a new implementing decision on the harmonised standard for websites and mobile applications that provides for the presumption of conformity with the EU Web Accessibility Directive.

The current harmonised standard is EN 301 549 V3.1.2 (2021-03) [PDF Document]; it is in line with the most recent Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). Annex A of the document explains the relationship between the standard and the mandatory requirements in the EU Web Accessibility Directive. Compliance with the normative clauses of the standard as outlined in its Annex A confers a presumption of conformity with the requirements of the EU Web Accessibility Directive.

15. Where can I find information about accessible software / authoring tools?

Authoring tools are software and services that people use to produce web content. Examples of authoring tools include:

The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops the standard called Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG). It is a companion to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and can be used to develop and procure accessible authoring tools.

WAI also has some tips on how to choose authoring tools to produce accessible content but warns that there is no single tool that fully supports production of accessible websites.

16. What should I take into account when procuring accessible websites and apps?

When drafting a call for tenders to procure ICT services, you will need to define selection criteria, award criteria and technical specifications, including accessibility requirements. One way to define accessibility requirements is to refer to the current European harmonized standard 'Accessibility requirement for procurement of ICT products and services' EN 301 549 V3.1.2 (2021-03) [PDF document]. Annex A of the document explains the relationship between the standard and the mandatory requirements in the Web Accessibility Directive.

European standard EN 301 549 was prepared under a European Commission standardisation request to provide a voluntary means of conforming to the essential requirements of the EU Web Accessibility Directive. Compliance with the normative clauses of the standard as outlined in its Annex A confers a presumption of conformity with the requirements of the EU Web Accessibility Directive.

You can use the selection criteria to set out your expectations from potential suppliers in terms of capacity to deliver digital accessibility.

You can use the award criteria to encourage suppliers to deliver a more accessible website and/or mobile application by providing additional accessibility features above and beyond what is required in the EU Web Accessibility Directive, such as those set out in chapter 9.5 of EN 301 549 [PDF document].

When reviewing tenders, you need to evaluate a supplier's ability to deliver accessibility, review accessibility in the technical specifications and award criteria and ensure deliverables meet the specified accessibility requirements.

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