Regional Legislation and Guidance
Understanding the legal framework within your own publishing market will give you the basis around which to develop an accessible publishing policy and business plan. Outlined below are some of the main considerations for a variety of international markets and we welcome updates and information on these and other global markets.
Additionally, there are some excellent resources which have been prepared for specific regions and these are also listed below.
The information on this page is not a definitive set of legal guidance and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact us if you have information pertinent to other countries or if you have updates to any of the information currently listed.
- Legislation for International Consideration
- European Union
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Several international standards and guidance documents are referenced in regional legislation related to digital publications:
- In a global context, the best strategy to increase your international accessibility compliance is to understand and follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 and Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD).
- Many countries have signed and ratified The Marrakesh Treaty within their markets . This treaty is the first international Copyright Treaty focusing on exceptions. The International Publishers Assosication have produced a guide for publishers on the treaty.
- EPUB Accessibility 1.1 Specification
- ISO 300-71 (2019) extends BS8878 providing a code of practice for creating accessible ICT products and service. This is an international process-oriented standard enabling organizations to embed accessibility considerations into their “business as usual” processes.
- The W3C provides an overview of international considerations for web accessibility.
- The Accessible Books Consortium provides lots of useful guidance on behalf of WIPO.
- Disability Discrimination Act, 1992 requires businesses to make adjustments to enable everyone to access their goods ,services or facilities where equal access can reasonably be provided. Digital content providers should ensure their systems and content comply with WCAG AA.
- Australia is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- About Disability Rights
- Digital Service Standard Criteria
- Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative includes 2 comprehensive sets of guidance for publishers
- Inclusion of People with Disabilities Act, 2015 requires publishers to offer accessible copies of books if requested.
- Brazil is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- Learn about the Government’s Accessibility Model
- e-MAG (Government Electronic Accessibility Model) is aligned with WCAG requirements
- The Accessible Canada Act, 2019 prevents accessibility barriers in information and communication technologies.
- Federal budget 2019 proposed the allocation of CAD $22.8 million over five years to aid the production of accessible publications.
- Individual provinces may have specific legal requirements (see below)
- Canada is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- Ontario Government Accessibility Laws
- Accessibility for Manitobans Act, 2014
- Nova Scotia Accessibility Act, 2017
- Standard On Web Accessibility
- Guidance on Implementing the Standard on Web Accessibility
- Accessible Publishing Learning Network
- NNELS Accessible Publishing
- Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities, updated 2016
- China is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- Availability of Products and Services legislation – Tilgængelighed for produkter og tjenester (PDF download) Danish implementation of the EU’s Accessibility Directive.
- Introduction to the Availability of Products and Services guidance from The National Security Agency – Sikkerhedsstyrelsen, the authority overseeing the legislation.
- European Accessibility Act, 2019 forms a robust base for access to information and knowledge. Publishers and the whole supply chain are required to produce their digital publications in accessible formats. The laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive have to be adopted and published by member states by 28 June 2022. Three years later, in 2025, the requirements of the European accessibility act must already have been implemented.
- The EU is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- Federation of European Publishers (FEP) Statement on the European Accessibility Act
- Ebooks for All—LIA Foundation whitepaper
- Law for Equal Rights and Opportunities, Participations and Citizenship for People with Disabilities, 2005 (consolidated version 2020)
- Order Relating to the General Accessibility Reference Guide for Administrations, 2015
- Law for a Digital Republic, 2016
- France is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- Act on Equal Opportunities for Disabled Persons, 2002 (amended 2018)
- Federal Ordinance on Barrier-Free Information Technology (amended 2019)
- Germany is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2016 states that electronic goods & equipment which are meant for everyday use are available in universal design.
- India is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- Guidelines for Indian Government websites
- Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology Guidelines for Publishing an Ebook
- Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities Law, amended 2012
- Israel is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
Guidance on meeting the Law from the Commission for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Provisions to support the access of disabled people to IT tools (The Stanca Act), updated 2020
- The LIA Foundation have published a white paper: ebooks for All: Towards an Accessible Publishing Ecosystem
- Japanese Industrial Standard JIS X 8341-3:2016 has the same set of criteria as WCAG 2.0.
- Act for Eliminating Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities, 2016 includes web content.
- Japan is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- Kenya Standard DKS 2952-1: 2021 provides a Digital Accessibility Standard
- Kenya is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
New Zealand has adopted two updated standards for government websites effective July 2019:
- New Zealand Web Accessibility Standard 1.1
- New Zealand Web Usability Standard 1.3.
- New Zealand is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act enforces WCAG requirements, overseen by The Norwegian Digitalisation Agency.
- Norway is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- The Manila Declaration on Accessible Information and Communications Technology, 2003
- Philippines is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) the agency mandated to formulate policies and coordinate the activities of all agencies, whether public or private, concerning disability issues and concerns in the Philippines
- Discrimination Act, 2008 with updates from 2015
- Federal Law on the Elimination of Inequalities for Persons with Disabilities
- Government Standard on Digital Accessibility
- Switzerland is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- Equality Act, 2010
- The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018, states you must make your website or mobile app more accessible by making it ‘perceivable, operable, understandable and robust’.
- ISO 300-71 (2019) extends BS8878 providing a code of practice for creating accessible ICT products and service, enabling organizations to embed accessibility considerations into their “business as usual” processes.
- The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Disability) Regulations came into force in June 2014 providing exception to copyright for all print disabled persons.
- The UK is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- The Publishers Association summary on Legal Obligations
- Making Your Service Accessible: An Introduction: a government page on meeting accessibility regulations
- Equality Act Guidance
- Publishers Accessibility Action Group
- Section 508 regulations applies to websites and publications. Universities either need to ensure procurement of accessible publications or provide an accessible equivalent. The American with Disabilities Act 2008 covers anyone participating in major life activities ie. reading.
- USA is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty
- Higher Ed Accessibility Lawsuits, Complaints, and Settlements
- BISG Quick Start Guide to Accessible Publishing
- Information and Communication Technology Standards and Guidelines
Please contact us if you have information pertinent to other countries or if you have updates to any of the information currently listed.