Switzerland DDA Act - What are the Digital Accessibility Requirements?

By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
8 mins
Switzerland Digital Accessibility (DDA Act) Requirements

Switzerland has its own accessibility law, known as Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). The act is made for all federal and public sector organizations to ensure their digital content’s availability for all.

Though Europe has an accessibility act, since Switzerland is not a part of the European Union, the act does not apply to Switzerland. Thus, the Swiss government felt the need for some streamlined guidelines for websites and applications to include accessibility in their core. Hence DDA came into existence in 2004 and has been amended several times as per the needs of federal and public websites.

DDA is also known as the Federal Law on the Elimination of Inequalities for Persons with Disabilities (PDF).

Just like other countries, Switzerland is also aspiring to achieve maximum digital accessibility. So, if your organization is operating in and around Swiss boundaries, learn what DDA is and how you can implement it into your digital assets.

What is Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)?

The Swiss accessibility act is concretized by three ordinances that are: the disability equality ordinance, the ordinance on the technical requirements for the disabled-friendly design of public transport, and the design of public transport for the disabled. The act was first enacted on December 13, 2002, and commenced on January 1, 2004.

Likewise, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), DDA also focuses on the places of public accommodations. Please note, that to comply with DDA, your website or application must conform with ADA or WCAG level AA standards.

The Swiss government keeps monitoring the implementation of DDA in every industry and all the efforts are showing positive outcomes. Many industries have incorporated all the recommended guidelines rightly and not only made their users' lives easier but increased their overall business revenue as well.

The implementation is not only the organizations’ responsibility, but the government also keeps on providing financial resources along with proper guidance to streamline the implementation process.

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What is the penalty for non-compliance with DDA?

The government has strictly asked all its public and private authorities to adhere to suggested accessibility laws. Switzerland has stern protocols for compliance assessment, and they rightly urge organizations to include accessibility.

Non-compliance leads to compensation of up to 5,000 Swiss Francs that an organization ought to pay to the individual who encountered discrimination while accessing the digital content. Moreover, the organization must take relevant steps to mitigate that accessibility issue.

What are the basic requirements included in DDA?

  • The act is about preventing, eliminating, or reducing discrimination against people with disabilities in terms of digital content access.
  • It is the Confederation's responsibility to make organizations take suitable actions and implement accessibility measures.
  • A person suffering from disabilities has the right to claim for compensation if they find accessibility issues while exploring the website/application.
  • The courts will not order the elimination of discriminating elements from the websites/applications if it will be a financial burden on the organization or if the remediation will impact the ESG of the organization.
  • Speech, hearing, and visual disabilities must consider if organizations are offering online services.
  • The Confederation may conduct different campaigns to increase public awareness about accessibility including recommendations on quick fixes.
  • Educational institutes shall provide accessible resources of learning to all students.
  • Also, whatever expenditure has been allocated from the federal government to support new accessibility projects, must be used for the assigned task.

Read the requirements in detail.

So, are you ready to embrace accessibility in your business?

If you are willing to build new projects considering accessibility or remediate your existing designs, WCAG conformance level AA is something that you should understand. WCAG says, your website must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust for everyone. So, you must include elements keeping these four principles in mind.

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Also, read the European accessibility directive to know its relevancy with Switzerland DDA guidelines.

Including accessibility to your digital content and maintaining it is mandatory for every organization. Always remember, the more disabled users will be able to access digital content, the more meaningful changes will happen in society!

Are your business website and other digital assets WCAG compliant? Or are you looking for guidance on DDA web accessibility standards? With a team of experts, we provide full ADA website accessibility services including audit, strategy, design, development, remediation, and support services which compliance with accessibility regulations such as WCAG 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, Section 508, Switzerland DDA within your budget. Contact us at [email protected] or request a free quote.