The digitalisation of public services is a challenge that Luxembourg has taken up for several years. In this context, public sector organisations are increasingly relying on the Internet to provide a wide range of services essential to our society. Equality being one of the fundamental principles of a democracy, all digital public services such as websites and mobile applications of public bodies must meet the requirement of non-discrimination of users, in particular with regard to disabilities.
On 13 December 2006 Luxembourg ratified the United Nations Convention regarding the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which promotes access by persons with disabilities to new information and communication technologies, and thus in particular the accessibility of Web and mobile applications. Web accessibility has been defined by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) as follows:
"Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. More specifically, they can perceive, understand, navigate and interact with the Web, as well as contribute to it. Web accessibility also benefits others, including older people whose abilities change with age. Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including visual, auditory, physical, speech-related, as well as cognitive and neurological disabilities."
The digital accessibility process therefore makes it possible to provide for a better quality of life through easier access to public services, and as such, it is a Government priority. The Information and Press Service (SIP) supports its implementation.
The SIP's missions
The SIP is responsible for carrying out periodic accessibility checks on the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies. These checks are regularly reported to the European Commission. In addition, the SIP is in charge of dealing with the complaints about the digital accessibility of mobile websites or applications in collaboration with the concerned public sector bodies (see "Complaints" section below). Finally, the SIP has a mission to inform, raise awareness and train public sector bodies on the subject of e-accessibility.
If you notice a lack of accessibility on a site or a mobile application of a Luxembourg public body, please contact us via this complaint form. We are committed to answering you by e-mail within one month at the latest. You can also inform the organisation concerned via the contact page on their website or the Ombudsman, mediator of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Legal framework and standards
At the European level, the accessibility requirement for public sector websites and applications is described in the 2016/2012 Directive. This directive has been implemented into the Luxembourgish law of 28 May 2019 on the accessibility of websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies. Both the Luxembourgish law and the European directive are based on the European standard "EN301 549 V2.1.2 (2018-08) "Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services" which provides harmonised technical accessibility requirements at the European level. For websites, this European standard officialises the recommendations of the W3C standard WCAG 2.1.
The legal deadlines for compliance with the accessibility standards are as follows (cf. Article 9 of the above-mentioned Luxembourgish law of 28 May 2019):
- Websites of public sector bodies published after 23 September 2018 should be compliant by 23 September 2019 at the latest.
- The websites of public sector bodies published before 23 September 2018 should be compliant by 23 September 2020 at the latest.
- Mobile applications of public sector bodies should be compliant by 23 June 2021 at the latest.
Should you have any question regarding e-accessibility, you can contact us by sending us an e-mail at: email@example.com