eAccessibility initiatives in Denmark (eAccessibility DK)

Published on: 19/11/2007
In 2006 the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation carried out a national mapping of eAccessibility in Denmark. The results indicated that there are still major obstacles for eAccessibility on public websites. Consequently, the Danish Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation launched a number of initiatives to improve eAccessibility on public websites: Mandatory use of Open Standards for Software in the Public Sector including web accessibility recommendations. From January 2008 it is mandatory for all public websites to use the WCAG guidelines on all new websites and major developments on existing sites. Comply- or explain: The mandatory use of Open Standards is followed by an obligation to explain non-compliance to the recommendations.

Description of target users and groups

The eAccessibility initiatives are aimed at public websites as all citizens should be able to benefit from digital opportunities including public online information.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

From 2008 an annual benchmark will evaluate all public websites according to WCAG AA and publish the results on the internet.

Technology solution

Technology choice: Accessibility-compliant (minimum WAI AA), Open source software

Main results, benefits and impacts

The mandatory use of Open Standards is part of a government agreement with the local authorities. All public websites are automatically participating in the annual benchmark and invited to fill in a "comply- or explain" form. The improved guidance effort is an essential part of the accessibility advice, which the Centre of Excellence in the National IT and Telecom Agency exercises to help owners of public web sites to procure and implement accessible ICT solutions. The Centre of Excellence has an ongoing communication with relevant stakeholders and gives lectures on web accessibility around the country.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Lessons learnt

Lesson 1 - The mandatory use of the WCAG guidelines will encourage public authorities to implement web accessibility requirements. The obligation to explain non-compliance will compel public websites to consider and explain why they do not follow the guidelines. These explanations will be made public available in connection to the annual benchmark, which will monitor the progress in accessibility for all public websites (national, regional and local). The benchmark results will also be made public available. These three initiatives are initiated to push owners of public websites to implement web accessibility requirements. Lessson 2 - The final initiative regarding guidance to interpreting WCAG AA is meant to help web developers to understand the WCAG guidelines and improve their ability to implement them. Scope: National