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The Act On Accessibility of Websites and Mobile Applications

Basic information

Ø   In the Czech Republic, Act No. 99/2019 Coll., On Accessibility of Websites and Mobile Applications in the public sector, was passed on March 20th 2019. 

Ø  For websites that were launched prior to the date it came into effect, the law applies from September 23rd 2020

Ø  The legislation is based on Directive 2016/2102 of the European Parliament and Council (EU) on the accessibility of websites and mobile applications of public sector entities

ØAn accessible website is a website that a person with a disability is able to use effectively with the help of assistive technologies or specialized programs.

Ø  The law stipulates that websites and mobile applications of public sector entities must be perceptible, controllable, comprehensible and stable for all users.

Mandatory subjects

1.      State

2.      Territorial self-governing units

3.      Legal entities established by law

4.     Legal entities established or founded by the state, a territorial self-governing unit or a legal entity established by law, if

a.      they were established or founded with the purpose of meeting needs which are in the general interest and are not of an industrial or commercial nature, and

b.      they are funded mainly by the state, a territorial self-governing unit or a legal entity established by law or they are subject to the supervision of the state, a territorial self-governing unit or a legal entity established by law or if their administrative, management or supervisory bodies have more than one half of members appointed by the state, a territorial self-governing unit or a legal entity established by law

5.      Legal entities established or founded by a legal entity as mentioned above

6.      Voluntary unions of municipalities

7.      Universities, schools and educational establishments

8.      Qualified administrators of the electronic identification system 

Exceptions

Universities, schools and educational establishments

Ø  Universities, schools and educational establishments are mandatory subjects only in the case of online content which they are obliged to publish in compliance with other legal regulations within the scope of exercise of powers in the field of public administration or under the Freedom of Information Act

Disproportionate burden

Ø  Mandatory subjects are not required to ensure full accessibility to their online content in justified cases if it is established that compliance with the requirements imposes a disproportionate burden 

Ø  Disproportionate burden takes into account: the size, nature and sources of the mandatory subject, estimated costs and benefits in relation to the expected benefits for the users of the website, the frequency and duration of the website’s use

Ø  However, in these cases, the entity must provide the user with an alternative solution for accessing the content on the website (e.g. by providing a telephone number which the user can contact in order to obtain the necessary information)

External source

Ø  The legislation does not apply to the web and mobile app content which the mandatory subject has taken from another source

Ø  This does not apply if the content was created or financed by the mandatory subject, or if the mandatory subject controls the given content

Declaration of accessibility

Ø  Mandatory subjects must publish and update their website’s declaration of accessibility in an accessible format

Ø  There are two ways of publishing the declaration:

a)      The mandatory subject issues a declaration for each web page separately, or

b)      The mandatory subject issues a declaration on one of its web pages and publishes a link leading to this declaration on all of its other web pages

Compliance checks

Ø  Anyone may initiate a call for redress in the case of a mandatory subject where there is reasonable suspicion that the website is not meeting the accessibility requirements

Ø  Starting from January 1st 2020, the Ministry of Interior checks whether the mandatory subjects are acting in compliance with the obligations stipulated by the Act

Ø  In the case that the Ministry should find deficiencies in the mandatory subject’s compliance with the Act, it will order the mandatory subject to take remedial measures

Schedule

Ø  The Accessibility Act came into effect on April 9th 2019

Ø  Websites which were published after April 9th 2019 must meet the requirements from September 23rd 2019

Ø  For websites which were published prior to April 9th 2019, requirements are binding from September 23rd 2020.

Timeline

More information can be found on the website of the Czech Ministry of the Interior