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Netherlands web accessibility

Netherlands Web Accessibility Laws

The main web accessibility law in the Netherlands 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 301 549 standards, including the Netherlands.

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.

GAA compliance

The Dutch government has adopted the General Administrative Law Act (Algemene wet bestuursrecht—Awb) to enforce accessibility requirements for websites and digital services. According to the Awb, government agencies must comply with the accessibility standards outlined in WCAG 2.1 AA level.

Furthermore, the Dutch Institute for Accessibility (Kenniscentrum Accessbility) provides expertise and resources related to web accessibility. They offer support in implementing accessibility measures and provide training to organizations seeking to improve the accessibility of their digital products and services.

Although compliance with web accessibility laws is mandatory for government websites and digital services in the Netherlands, there is no specific national legislation that applies to private organizations for the time being. Private entities are still encouraged to adhere to WCAG 2.1 as a best practice for ensuring web accessibility.

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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