Social and Legal Aspects

Legislation, Policy, Lawsuits, …

European Union

2003 was the European Year of People with Disabilities. How much progress has the European Union made since then to make society more accessible to people with disabilities? (And how many of the European Union's own websites meet any accessibility standards?)

European Web Accessibility Directive

European Accessibility Act

Other Policies in Europe

The European Union's policy regarding harmonisation of standards has also influenced the development of accessibility standards. The following links are about harmonisation and have no direct relevance to accessibility.

More about conformity assessment and the presumption of conformity:



In Belgium, the European Union's Web Accessibility Directive was transposed into a law by means of a ream of decrees, one for each region or community. (Some of the links below refer to Etaamb. This is not an official publication of any of the public authorities in Belgium. Unfortunately, the search options of the Moniteur belge / Belgisch Staatsblad are unusable.)

Transposition of the European Accessibility Act in Belgium
Anti-discrimination Legislation in Belgium

Note: the resources listed below are not in English.




As of early December 2022, the European Accessibility Act has not been transposed into French law. On a few occasions, politicians have asked questions about the state of accessibility in the Assemblée nationale and the Sénat:

The European Accessibility Act was transposed into French law in March 2023. This transposition was done in two phases and modified several existing laws (rather than introducing a new one).






Europe Outside the European Union


Norway is a special case: the country is not part of the European Union but has transposed many European Union directives.

United Kingdom

Outside Europe




Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

don’t get me started on VPATs. They are not a way to report conformance. They are a way to avoid reporting conformance. In VPATs one never says that one meets an SC. Only that they ’support’ it. Which is carefully chosen and defined as NOT meaning that one conforms or meets the provision.

Gregg Vanderheiden on the w3c-wai-gl mailing list, 13.03.2023 in a discussion that was not about VPATs.

Other Self-declarations of Conformity

Statistics on Impairments or Disabilities


Studying with a Disability

The resources listed below focus mainly on higher education.

Studying with ADHD

Other Links