Varuh ДЌlovekovih pravic

Accessibility of websites for vulnerable groups is a commitment for the EU Member States

As of today, 23 September 2020, all websites of state bodies, bodies of self-governing local communities and public law entities – with the exception of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools and public radio and television – must be adapted to be accessible to all users, especially those with various forms of disability.

Access to information is one of the basic rights of every individual in modern society. "People with disabilities must be able to enjoy human rights to the fullest possible extent. Access to information and communication technologies is particularly important, as this provides a basis for exercising other rights as well. Through adaptations, people living with impairments can obtain a wide range of information; they can communicate, attend education, integrate into society and participate actively in it. Without adjustments, they are pushed to the margins, they do not have equal opportunities," Ombudsman Peter Svetina pointed out on this occasion.

Accessibility of Websites and Mobile Applications Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia [Uradni list RS], No. 30/18) thus also began to apply to websites published before 23 September 2018. Directive (EU) 2016/2102 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2016 on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies transposes into Slovenia's legal order measures aimed at ensuring the accessibility of websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies. The purpose of this Directive is to ensure greater accessibility of public sector websites and mobile applications and to harmonise different standards within the EU. This will give EU citizens, and in particular people with disabilities, better access to public services, which is a fundamental principle of the Digital Agenda for Europe and of the eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020.

The Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia has already adapted its website to vulnerable groups. As the body that monitors the compliance of the actual exercise of guaranteed human rights, the Ministry of Public Administration also addressed an inquiry on its own initiative as to how many and which taxpayers meet the legal requirements regarding the accessibility of websites.