Accessibility mandatory for all Dutch government websites
On December 1 2008, representatives of Dutch state, provincial, waterboard and local government signed a treaty called the National Execution Programme electronic public service. By doing so, they formally committed the entire Dutch government to implementing the Dutch Webguidelines (among other goals).
There are internationally recognized agreements for creating web sites, known as 125 quality requirements standards warrants a significantly better website. The Netherlands government has assembled these international standards in a quality model called the Web Guidelines. This quality model comprises 125 quality requirements for the benefit of better websites.
The Webguidelines aren’t new, they have been around for four years now. Before dec. 1 2008 however, only corporate websites of the national government were forced to conform to the guidelines. This changed drastically: from now on, any new government site needs to conform, and by the end of 2010, all existing sites need to conform as well.
This means that we have two years to make the entire Dutch government’s Internet presence accessible. It is a powerful signal about the importance of accessibility, as well as a huge challenge to implement.
It seems I have my work cut out for me.