Public bodies in Ireland must ensure their websites and mobile apps are accessible to all people, including persons with disabilities.
Under the EU Web Accessibility Directive, public bodies in Ireland must:
- Ensure their website and mobile apps are procured, developed and maintained to comply with all relevant parts of the harmonised standard EN 301 549 v 3.2.1 “Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services”. This is broadly equivalent to reaching conformance-rating AA with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1.
- Maintain an up to date Accessibility Statement on a prominent area of the website or link from the mobile app. The Accessibility Statement must contain accurate information on the website’s compliance. It must include contact details for people to request assistance or make a formal complaint in relation to the website’s accessibility as required under Irish Regulations. (S7.4.c)). See more on the requirement for an Accessibility Statement and NDA guidance.
- Ensure relevant staff are aware of and receive adequate training on web accessibility.
Find out more about upcoming NDA/ICS trainings and recordings of previous events.
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.