The German standard for for digital accessibility
Barrierefreie-Informationstechnik-Verordnung (BITV) represents Germany’s federal ordinance on barrier-free information technology. Simply put, the German regulation for accessible information technology.
Barrier-Free Information Technology Ordinance (BITV), as a German standard, moves to guarantee unrestricted access to information and communication technology by people with different types of disabilities. The first version of the Ordinance- BITV 1.0 was first issued in 2002. At the time, BITV was based on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0) and authorized public-facing websites and web applications to be accessible to persons with disabilities by December 31, 2005.
BITV was refreshed and updated on September 12, 2011, to BITV 2.0. It now adopts a more updated gold standard for web content accessibility- WCAG 2.0 to make websites perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust for people with disabilities. The most updated BITV ordinance covers websites, mobile applications, electronically supported administrative processes, and web-based and non-web-based applications.
Like in the U.S with Section 508 and EN 301 549 in Europe, the BITV 2.0 will ensure public organizations, intending agencies, and agencies of public organizations are encouraged to prioritize the BITV test (accessibility testing) early as a proactive measure to achieve BITV 2.0 compliance efficiently.
BITV 2.0 compliance will:
- increase your chances of working with Germany federal government agencies
- Help you serve a wider audience
- remove any legal risk
- improve the overall user experience
Disability Equality Act – BGG
Gesetz zur Gleichstellung von Menschen mit Behinderungen (Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz – BGG), also known as Disability Equality Act – BGG, is a non-discrimination act on equal opportunities for disabled persons. The law was enacted in 2002 and amended July 10, 2018. Like the ADA or the EN 301 549, the Disability Equality Act seeks to enable equal rights for people with disabilities as everyone else in aspects of transportation, sources of information and communication facilities, etc.
The Disability Equality Act – BGG falls directly on Germany’s federal and public institutions, including those owned, funded, or controlled by the federal government. Such organizations must provide barrier-free access to ICT products, publish a declaration on the accessibility on their websites and apps, and provide an accessibility report every three years, starting from June 30, 2021.
BITV test for WCAG 2.1 compliance
Germany’s Equal Opportunity Act (Disability Equality Act – BGG) has authorized European standard transposition- EN 301 549 into BITV 2.0 (which is based on WCAG 2.0 AA). Invariably, German federal institutions must follow EN 301 549 and make their digital assets WCAG 2.1 AA compliant. More so, abide by the EU standard’s model in the declaration of accessibility in an accessible and machine-readable format on every page of the site.
In other words, the most updated BITV 2.0 expects websites in Germany that have been published since September 23, 2018, to have an accessibility statement online by 23 September 2019. Older websites must publish their accessibility statement by September 23, 2020, and mobile applications by June 23, 2021, with requirements to be annually updated.
How to perform BITV test for compliance
With the ratification of EN 301 549 and WCAG 2.1, the directive priority is for organizations to perform an accessibility evaluation (BITV test) of individual web pages.
- Enter a URL/domain.
- Get an accurate and easy-to-understand audit (with visual illustrations and recommendations).
- Share the audit report with your team.
- Start fixing your site and ensure barrier-free access to people with disabilities.
A unique accessibility testing tool
Our free software automatically scans your website and identifies accessibility errors according to WCAG 2.0/2.1- BITV 2.0 and EN 301 549 testing standards and their impact on individuals with various disabilities.
Our automated web accessibility checker assesses the website's coding and provides a detailed audit report that contains prioritized recommendations to enable you to remove barriers that could prevent people with disabilities from accessing the site.
How it works
The web accessibility scanner is fully automated, sorting your testing categories into:
- High impact: issues that need urgent attention
- Medium impact: corrections needed
- Low impact: require manual review
Our BITV compliance checker provides a report that allows you to filter by:
- Guidelines (WCAG 2.0/2.1) Level A-AAA
- Priority (high, medium, and low impact)
Control your audit
The web accessibility checker also provides information on the accessibility barriers, best practices on how to test, and visual examples of wrong and right ways to achieve BITV 2.0 compliance.
FAQ - BITV
What is BITV?
Barrier-Free Information Technology Ordinance (BITV) is the German regulation for accessible information technology that affects websites, mobile applications, electronically supported administrative processes, and web-based and non-web-based applications.
What is BITV 2.0?
BITV 2.0 is the most updated BITV ordinance. It requires websites and web content to be accessible by following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA.
Who must achieve BITV compliance?
All German Federal agencies, agencies of public organizations, and intending contractors or contractors of those agencies. Basically all organizations receiving German funds must make sure their websites and applications are accessible to people with disabilities.
How to achieve BITV Compliance?
By ingraining accessibility in your company culture and making sure all information and communications covered by BITV are accessible to people with disabilities. You can start by performing a BITV test.
How do I perform BITV compliance testing?
By testing your website against the WCAG 2.0 AA using the Accessi.org web accessibility checker.
Is your BITV compliant?
Test on Accessi.org