Guidelines for accessible websites, online documents and apps now available in Dutch

The official translation into Dutch of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1), required for all public sector body websites as of 23 September 2020, is now online. Many stakeholders, including Accessibility and the W3C Benelux Office (hosted by CWI), contributed to this.

Publication date
26 May 2020

Official translation of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) - required for all  public sector body websites as of 23 September 2020 - now online.

As of 23 September 2020, public sector body websites and online documents in the EU must apply international guidelines for accessibility. Those guidelines have now been officially translated into Dutch. This authorized translation contains many recommendations to make websites, online documents and mobile applications more accessible to people with disabilities, such as visual, auditory, motor or cognitive ones. The Dutch translation of the guidelines, led by the Accessibility foundation, was done with 22 stakeholders, such as the W3C Benelux Office hosted by CWI.

It is important for everyone that websites, online documents and mobile applications are accessible, especially for people with disabilities. Accessibility guidelines may cover simple matters such as good contrast between text and background, but also whether a website or document works on a tablet or can be read by screenreader software used by persons with disabilities.

Eric Velleman from the Accessibility foundation worked with 22 stakeholders from the Netherlands and Belgium to translating these guidelines. "The end result had to be legible on the one hand and not deviate from the English original on the other", he says. "The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 have been available in English for some time, but there was a great demand for a Dutch translation. Certainly also because from 23 September 2020 all websites of Dutch and Belgian public sector bodies must comply with these guidelines".

This version of the guidelines not only pays more attention to new technology, but also to usability on tablets and phones. A number of specific guidelines have also been included to make websites more accessible to people with cognitive disabilities. Experts from around the world, including from disability organizations, industry, research, and the public sector were involved in developing these guidelines from W3C (World Wide Web Consortium).

Velleman: "By making websites, apps and online documents accessible, we ensure that everyone can participate, including people with disabilities, such as visual, auditory, motor or cognitive impairments. With this Dutch translation we want to increase the understanding and implementation of the guidelines".

The guidelines are divided into a number of layers: principles, guidelines and success criteria. These layers help web and app developers, editors and others to make online content accessible. Everyone involved in creating websites, online documents, content and mobile applications is encouraged to apply all layers to make them optimally accessible to the largest possible group of users.

The guidelines are formulated in a testable manner and are not bound to a fixed technology. This makes them more future proof.

Stakeholders that helped make the translation are: Accessibility Foundation (Lead Translating Organization), W3C Benelux Office (hosted by CWI), Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Oogvereniging, Ieder(in), Logius, Capgemini,, Cardan Technobility, Bartiméus, AnySurfer Belgium, Hogeschool Arnhem Nijmegen, Firm Ground, The Internet Academy, 200OK, Deque systems, ING bank, Forum Standaardisatie, Level Level, Limoengroen, Axendo and Eleven Ways.

Eric Velleman adds: “The final result of the translation efforts by all the partners involved, is now available online. Check it out for yourself and compare it to the original in English.”