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Accessibility in the international context

The accessibility of information technology products and communications is a necessity for many users with different functional diversity but also benefits the whole of the general public.

On 2 december 2016 was published in the official gazette of the european union Directive (EU) 2016/2102 of the european parliament and of the council of 26 october 2016, on the accessibility of websites and applications for mobile devices of the public sector agencies (Opens in new window) and entered into force on 22 december 2016. This directive establishes the conditions, with regard to their accessibility, which will have to comply with all websites and mobile applications of the public sector: the state, regional, local, universities, etc. also included such entities as health and education centres, libraries, courts, etc.

The directive aims to ensure that the websites and applications for mobile devices of the public sector agencies more accessible, to be based on common requirements of accessibility for all states of the european Union. It is so, an end to the fragmentation of the internal market by bringing national measures at union level, and the establishment of accessibility requirements agreed that they apply to all agencies of the european public sector. This reduces uncertainty for developers and fosters interoperability.

This Directive has been transposed to spanish law through the Royal Decree 1112/2018, of 7 september on accessibility of websites and applications for mobile devices in the public sector (Opens in new window) . The new royal Decree replaces and improves the conditions demanded that the gates of the public administrations Royal Decree 1494/2007 (Opens in new window) .

On 11 october 2018 the european commission adopted two Decisions through which establishes the following aspects that impact in Spain under royal decree 1112/2018 mentioned above:

  • Decision 2018/1523 (Opens in new window) - provides the declaration of accessibility that should employ all websites and mobile applications of the public sector agencies. The decision issued a specific version in spanish with instructions on the information to be completed. As set out in article 15 of the RD 1112/2018 must be reviewed annually. As it is not yet defined the state model, shall apply by default this european model, recently published, and that therefore enters into force on 1 november 2018 with its publication in the DOUE.
  • Decision 2018/1524 (Opens in new window) - provides a methodology for monitoring and reporting arrangements that will have to comply with member states to conduct monitoring at the national level to meet the requirements of the directive and make the periodic report every three years the european commission. The proceedings and cooperation at the national level necessary to implement this decision are framed by articles 18, 19 and 20 of the Royal Decree 1112/2018.

On 21 december 2018 was published in the official journal of the european union Implementation decision (EU) 2018/2048 of 20 december 2018 on the harmonized rule applicable to the websites and applications for mobile devices drafted in support of the directive (EU) 2016/2102 of the european parliament and council.

Through this decision provides that the standard for compliance with the Directive (EU) 2016/2102 is the norm

This rule, in line with the WCAG 2.1 , reflected in the all the requirements for the web pages to be able to comply with the directive (EU) 2016/2102, equivalent to fulfil all requirements of A level and AA WCAG 2.1 more a series of specific requirements for special cases.

In the case of mobile applications, will apply from 23 june 2021.

All these actions fall and linked with the national level through the Web accessibility observatory

In addition there are other directives such as Directive 2014/24/EU the european parliament and council of 26 february 2014, procurement and the new directive, the " Accessibility Act ", DIRECTIVE (EU) 2019/882 of the european parliament and of the council of 17 april 2019 (Opens in new window) on the requirements of accessibility of the products and services affecting the accessibility of icts in Spain.