How can Public Sector Bodies Meet the Accessibility Requirements?
Public sector bodies must ensure their websites and mobile apps are procured, delivered and maintained to meet the relevant parts of the harmonised European standard - EN 301 549 V3.2.1 (2021-03).
Public sector bodies will comply with the 2020 regulations if they meet the relevant parts of the harmonised European standard EN 301 549 V2.1.2 (2018-08).
This is the same as meeting all the Level AA Success Criteria from the international guidelines WCAG 2.1.
They’ll also have to publish and maintain an Accessibility Statement about their websites or mobile apps.
Under the 2020 regulations, public sector bodies in Ireland are required to make their websites and mobile apps accessible by meeting the four POUR principles of accessibility:
Who do the 2020 Regulations Apply to?
The 2020 regulations apply to most public sector bodies but they do not apply to the websites and mobile apps of public service broadcasters or any other body fulfilling a public service broadcasting remit.
They also do not apply to websites and mobile apps of certain types of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). These include NGOs that do not provide services that are essential to the public, or services that specifically address the needs of people with disabilities.
The 2020 regulations apply to most types of content including:
Office file formats (Word, PowerPoint and PDF documents)
Intranets, extranets and their contents
Some types of content are exempt, such as live media and maps that aren’t used for navigational purposes.
Exemptions also apply to some types of content published before a particular date including:
Office file formats published before 23 September 2018, unless the content is needed for active administrative processes relating to tasks performed by the public sector body concerned
Pre-recorded time-based media published before 23 September 2020. This could include videos or audio recordings of events
Content of websites and mobile applications qualifying as archives
Third-party content that isn’t funded by or under the control of the public sector body. For example, social media ‘like’ buttons
Online reproductions of items in heritage collections that can’t be made fully accessible
Content on intranets or extranets published before 23 September 2019 until such websites undergo a substantial revision
Content of websites and mobile applications qualifying as archives, meaning that they only contain content that isn’t needed for active administrative processes or updated or edited after 23 September 2019
As of September 2020, any public body website covered by the 2020 regulations should be accessible.
Public sector mobile apps must be accessible by 23 June 2021.