A Revision of the Federal Ordinance on Barrier-Free Information Technology

At the BIENE award ceremonies in December 2006 the Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Franz Thönnes, announced that the Federal Ordinance on Barrier-Free Information Technology (BITV) will be revised in accordance to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG). Ever since I was trying to find out who would be participating in that working group, to no avail. In a scene where the transparency of the W3C Web Accesssibility Initiative (WAI) is a constant topic of discussion, it’s irritating to see a Federal working group act in such seclusion.

Now a few more details about BITV 2.0 became public, through a parliamentary request of all things! (PDF, 465 KB) It’s interesting to see how much some of the instruments of the Equality Act for People with Disabilities targeted at the private sector totally failed, while the Federal Government sees some things differently than the European Commission, like the use of accessibility criteria as a differentiation instrument in public procurements. Still there are many positive developments, and some details on the BITV working group in particular. I figured because of the topic the details would be most interesting to a German speaking audience, so I wrote about it in the namics blog and would kindly ask you to comment there. ;)

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