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Qualitative Data Collected by Variable for Austria

Country Laws and Regulations

  • General Law protecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

Constitutional Article: Consolidated Federal Law

There are several laws, regulation rights of persons with disabilities in Austria, especially in regard to occupation, access (accessibility) and status. Some of the links are listed below (in German) - they are valid on a national basis for Austria in its entirety.

There are also some laws on basis of federal states (there are 9 in Austria):

  • Definition of ICT accessibility:

Structural and other facilities, means of transport, technical objects of daily use, information processing systems and other designed areas of life are barrier-free if they are accessible and usable for people with disabilities in the usual way, without particular difficulties and generally without outside help.

It was replaced by the Web Accessibility Law in accordance with the Directive (EU) 2016/2102 of the European Parliament and Council of 26 October 2016 regarding the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies which came into force by September 26th 2018

  • Definition of Reasonable Accommodation:


  • Universal Service Obligation includes Persons with Disabilities:

Telecommunications Act and Regulation for Universal Service Obligation regarding accessibility of public telephone stations and implementation of Directive 2009/136/EC regarding access to universal service

Country Capacity to Implement

And: Federal Council for Persons with Disabilities

  • Government agency for accessible ICTs:


  • Process to involve DPOs in ICT accessibility policy making:

Monitoringausschuss is involving persons with disabilities in monitoring the implementation of the CRPD. Monitoring Committee

The National Action Plan on Disability (Nationaler Aktionsplan Behinderung, NAP) of the Austrian Government: The National Action Plan on Disability

A new NAP has been established for the period 2020 to 2030.

There is also a legal institute serving as an umbrella institution for organizations and companies representing persons with disabilities in Austria, called Austrian Disability Council

  • Country refers to international ICT accessibility standards:

ASI – Austrian Standardization Institute, Web Accessibility Directives

  • ICT accessibility courses available at universities or professional education services:

Only one university, the Johannes Kepler University in Linz is offering an ICT Accessibility course on a mandatory basis, called Accessible Software & Web Design

Country Policy and Programs Outcomes

  • Web:

-Country Policies: By adopting the Act on Web Accessibility (WZG), the Austrian National Council transposed an EU guideline passed in October 2016 into national law. The act entered into force on September 23, 2019 and requires the Federal Government to design websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies allowing unrestricted access to all users.

  • TV and multimedia:

-Country Policies: The Austrian Public Service Media (PSM) is by law committed to provide accessibility to media content for persons with disabilities in accordance with the status quo of technical development as well as in accordance with economic reasonableness (ORF Act Art 5 paragraph 2). Despite the fact that the legal text is non-committal in its wording, the Austrian PSM has decided to continuously improve the status quo of accessibility of media content by visually and hearing-impaired persons. In 2010, the proportion of programs with additional features for persons with disabilities was about 36 % of the ORF output. However, there is a strong imbalance between the extent of media access for hearing-impaired persons (well developed) and of media access for visually impaired persons (poorly developed) (ORF Public Value Report 2015/16 Data Appendix p. 18). An interview conducted in 2018 for the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM 2016), the expert delivered a more fine-grained assessment of the practice of media access for persons with disabilities (audio description is limited to sports programs mostly, the culture and documentary program, however, is severely neglected in that respect.

Private Sector

Private TV stations are bound to the Audiovisual Media Services Act (Art 30 para 3) which states that all audio-visual media providers are obliged to incrementally improve accessibility for people with disabilities. However, the law does not stipulate specific requirements and actions to achieve this goal. In practice, Austrian private TV stations don not provide any programs for the visually and hearing impaired.

The Austrian 'Aid Community' as well as the Austrian Council for Persons with Disabilities are two of the most central non-governmental actors lobbying for the expansion of rights for people with disabilities. Yet, neither the Austrian PSM, nor private stations are actively inviting these stakeholders in order to incrementally improve accessibility.

In sum, the policy framework on access to media content by people with disabilities must be regarded as expandable. Many measures are taken, especially by the Austrian PSM which is continuously improving their output. Yet, more has be done to guarantee access to media for persons with disabilities, particularly in the realm of access to televised content for visually impaired persons. Especially, the wording of policies in committal terms as well as the implementation of monitoring institutions would be desirable.

  • Mobile telephony:


  • E-books and digital contents:

-Country Program: Book Access is a private organization that produces learning materials for blind and visually impaired pupils Book Access in Austria

  • Promoting the Internet Availability and Usage among Persons with Disabilities:


  • Inclusive ICTs for all in education:

-Country Program: On basis of the mentioned laws, schoolers and students are able to get learning materials as well as Assistive Technologies if needed that are funded by several state agencies like the Fonds Soziales Wien etc.

  • Enabling ICTs for all in employment:

-Country Program: On basis of the mentioned laws PwD are able to get Assistive Technologies if needed funded by several state agencies like the Fonds Soziales Wien , etc.

  • E-government and Smart Cities for all:

-Country Policy: E-Government strategy, E-Government Act and implementation of the Directive (EU) 2016/2102 on the accessibility of websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies; Project “Smart City” at the Technical University of Vienna

  • Enabling Assistive Technologies and ICTs for independent living:

-Country Policies: On basis of the mentioned laws, persons with disabilities are able to get Assistive Technologies if needed funded by several state agencies like the Fonds Soziales Wien etc.

-Country Programs: Projects and programs at the University of Vienna and the University of Linz; Award for Inclusion by Natural Science and Technology (WINTEC; conferred by the Federal Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection); Active and Assisted Living (AAL) Research and Development Program (in Austria operated by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology).

  • Procurement of accessible public goods and services for all citizens: