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European Commission proposes to make government websites accessible for all by the end of 2015

The European Commission proposed new rules on making government websites accessible for all  by the end of 2015 as part of the International Day of People with Disability (3rd December 2012).  In particular the Comission will require 12 different types of government websites to be accessible which will make it easier for everyone to access such services as:

The Commision identify that some of the key beneficiaries would include Europe's 80 million citizens with disabilities and the 87 million Europeans aged over 65. For example, visually impaired people will hear descriptions of images when using a screen reader, the hearing-impaired will see written captions for audio files and all parts of a website could be explored via ckeyboards as well as a computer mouse.

The Commission's is proposing that a Directive on the accessibility of public sector bodies' websites will be put in place that would introduce mandatory EU standardised accessibility features, from the end of 2015. The proposed Directive now goes to the EU's Council of Ministers and the European Parliament for adoption.