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Italy Web Accessibility

Italy Web Accessibility Laws

The main web accessibility law in Italy is the European Directive on the accessibility of websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies, known as EN 301549. The E.U. Web Accessibility Directive was enacted in 2016, ratified by the E.U. Parliament and the Council of the E.U. It primarily applies to government agencies but does have consequences for private organizations as well. As of today, all public sector bodies in E.U. Member States must comply with EN 301549 standards, including Italy.

Accessibility Standard EN 301 549 applies to government agencies, government-funded bodies, and third-party contractors who provide services to the government. Non-compliance may result in exceeding penalties, as mechanisms for complaint were put in place by the legislators.

WAD compliance
Italy also enacted its own web accessibility law known as the Web Accessibility Directive (WAD) in a bill named “the Directive of the President of the Republic No. 235 of March 4, 2011.” According to the legislation, all public sector bodies are compelled to make their websites accessible to those with impairments. The regulation stipulates the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 as the standard by which to remediate websites.

Public websites that don’t meet certain WCAG criteria in terms of accessibility and usability for people with disabilities would be violating Italian law. The Italian government agency responsible for enforcing this regulation is the Garante per l`Accessibilità dei Siti Web delle Pubbliche Amministrazioni (GASWA).

The private sector
The Web Accessibility Directive applies specifically to public sector websites and web-based applications in Italy, so private businesses are not directly subject to the regulation. However, private businesses may still be impacted by the regulation in a number of ways.

First, private businesses that provide goods or services to the public sector may be required to make their websites and web-based applications accessible as a condition of doing business with the government.

Second, private businesses that operate in certain industries, such as banking and insurance, may be subject to additional regulations that require them to make their websites and web-based applications accessible to people with disabilities.

Third, private businesses may also face legal action under Italy’s laws on discrimination, which prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities in access to goods and services.

AgID accessibility declaration
AgID stands for Digital Agency Italy, or in Italian, “Agenzia per l`Italia Digitale.” Italian government and public sectors, regional municipal bodies, as well as transport or telecom sectors that have partial government ownership are mandated to issue an accessibility declaration on the AgID website as well as an accessibility report once a year. This applies also to private companies that cooperate with the public sector.

At EqualWeb, we recommend you remediate and audit your website against WCAG 2.1 guidelines to avoid any unnecessary legal risk and to open your doors to the large population of individuals living with disabilities.

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