Accessibility Legislation in Europe: Standards, Laws and How to Interpret Them

Accessibility Legislation in Europe: Standards, Laws and How to Interpret Them

Recoring Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Length: 1.5 hours
Speaker: Susanna Laurin, CEO, Funka Nu AB
Target Audience: Project managers, developers, designers, editors and other roles in the ICT industry who want to sell to the public sector in Europe. Also website owners, project managers, editors, designers, developers and projects leaders in public sector who are affected by legislation.
Skill Level: Intermediate

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New European legislation means that all 28 EU member states have harmonised standards and equal legal obligations when it comes to web accessibility. This is very important for any ICT supplier that wants to sell to public sector.

This session will cover the following areas:

1. The procurement directive: ICT procurement of ICT in the EU member states will go from recommendations to legislation when it comes to requirements for accessibility. This might potentially change the world for real.
2. EN 301 549 – how to use and interpret the common European standard on accessibility requirements for procurement of ICT products and services in Europe. This is the minimim requirements that the new procurements legislation points to.
3. The Web Directive: Almost all public sector websites and apps are covered by the new legislation on accessibility in all member states. The exceptions are historic manuscripts and content provided by users. This legislation will make the majority of the European countries go from recommendations to legislation. When will the law come into force, how will compliance be measured, what is needed except for meeting the standard?
4. The proposed European Accessibility Act is yet to be decided, but the scope of the proposal makes it interesting to discuss already. According to our sources, this legislation has a fair chance of becoming reality in a near future.
5. The proposed European Disability Act is the human rights legislation that is most similar to the US ADA. Since 2008, this proposal has been in the fridge. 
6. Q&A.


  • An overview of the legal situation in Europe when it comes to web accessibility and what that means for the public sector and its suppliers.
  • What sectors/customers the new legislations cover and when the control mechanisms will start working.
  • How to meet the requirements and what exceptions there are.
  • What is needed for this legislation to be successful? Lessons learned from every corner of Europe. 

Speaker Bio:

Susanna Laurin has a long experience in working with disability-related issues at senior management level, for instance as CEO of one of the subsidiaries of the Swedish Association of the Visually Impaired corporate group IRIS, and the Swedish Independent Living Institute. She is a frequent international lecturer and debater and she serves on many program committees for conferences in the field of accessibility.
At Funka she takes responsibility for major and international assignments, among others for the European Commission, for which Funka now are developing the measuring methodology to be used by the member states when the proposed Web Directive will come into action, as well as several assignments for the different national governments. Susanna also works on Funka’s internal methodology and quality work and is in responsible for Funka’s close cooperation with end user organizations. Susanna is a member of the leadership council of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, IAAP, a global organization that was co-founded by Funka, and she is also appointed the official representative to the European Commission on behalf of the G3ict and IAAP. She is an expert and advisor, both for Swedish Standards Institute and Standards Norway, and furthermore served as technical expert for Mandate 376, that on behalf for the EC developed harmonized requirements for accessibility in public procurement in all EU member states, resulting in the EN301549. Susanna was moreover responsible for the authorized translation of WCAG 2.0 into Swedish that Funka carried out on behalf of W3C.


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