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WACA initiative welcomes adoption of Austrian Web Accessibility Act

The WACA initiative welcomes the adoption of the Web Accessibility Act (WZG) by the Austrian Parliament and the Federal Council. With this decision, EU Directive 2016/2102 has been ratified in Austria. The EU’s Web Accessibility Directive (WAD) contains requirements regarding accessible websites and mobile applications of public institutions.

The WZG stipulates that websites must be created in accordance with the international accessibility guidelines, the WCAG of the W3C, conformance level AA. Its aim is to ensure that nobody is excluded from the web in the future by making information and services on the Internet more accessible in general. WACA has issued an official statement on the entry into force of the Web Accessibility Act. Here you can find the press release.

In addition to the WZG, a federal monitoring and complaints body was also set up within the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG. This body constitutes one of the requirements of the EU Directive. For further information please visit FFG’s website.

The WZG applies to all websites and mobile applications of the federal government as well as public law institutions that can be assigned to the federal government. At the federal state level, regional laws are adopted or amended on the basis of the WZG. Complaint bodies are also to be established in the individual federal states.

When do the requirements have to be implemented? (Source: FFG)

  • new websites (launched after 23.09.2018) from 23.09.2019
  • old websites (launched before 23.09.2018) from 23.09.2020
  • all mobile applications from 23.06.2021

Our WACA certificate already fulfils 2 of the 3 requirements of the WZG or WAD:

  1. Websites must comply with international accessibility standards (current version of WCAG) - WACA determines that websites comply with the WCAG 2.1 level AA. 
  2. There must be a feedback mechanism on the website that allows users to inform the website operator about non-compliance with accessibility standards - WACA already provides this function. Deficiencies can be reported using a contact form directly attached to the WACA label on the certified website, see (label at the bottom) for example.
  3. Detailed declaration of accessibility and conformity. This declaration should be easy to find on the website, similar to the imprint or data protection declaration. Here you can find a sample of this accessibility declaration.

Click here for more information on the new WZG and here for the complete legal provisions of the WZG.