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Published in D.R. number 199 (Series I-B) of 26 August 1999
Presidência do Conselho de Ministros (Council of Ministers' Presidency)
Resolution of the Council of Ministers
(This is not an official translation of the law)
The Information society should contribute to improving the quality of life and to providing for the well-being of citizens. This means that everyone should not only have access to its technologies, but, most of all, that everyone should also have the real possibility of using them. Access to the benefits of the information society should then be ensured for all members of society, as far as possible, without discrimination or exclusion. For this to be achieved it is necessary to take into account the personal characteristics and demands of citizens with special needs.
This is not something dictated merely by solidarity, but, and above all, by a conception of society in which everyone has the means to participate, according to each person’s individual characteristics. Furthermore, the real involvement and access of citizens with special needs to the information society takes on a greater importance because the tools of the information society can themselves be tools for social inclusion.
Accordingly, it is important to ensure that the information that government and government bodies publish on the internet can be accessed and consulted by citizens with special needs. This entails the adoption of appropriate technical solutions.
This is a measure that is included in the achievement plan of the National Initiative for Citizens with Special Needs in the Information Society, as set out by Cabinet Resolution no. 96/99, dated 26 August. It also follows up the recommendation and opinion of the Comissão de Assuntos Constitucionais, Direitos, Liberdades e Garantias da Assembleia da República as regards the petition for accessibility, which was approved on 30 June 1999 and calls for the adoption of necessary and appropriate measures to ensure that all citizens with special needs have full access to information on the internet.
Therefore, under the terms of Part 199, Subpart G of the Constitution, the Cabinet resolves that:
1.1 - Information made available on the Internet by Directorates-General and equivalent departments, as well as by public organisations at all levels, should be organised and presented in such a way as to allow or facilitate access by citizens with special needs.
2 - The accessibility mentioned in the previous number should encompass, at least, all information necessary for understanding and locating content.
2.1 - To accomplish the objectives mentioned in the previous number, the bodies mentioned there should adopt such forms of text and presentation on Internet pages in order to ensure that:
a. Content can be read without the use of vision, precise movements, simultaneous actions or pointing devices, i.e. the use of a mouse;
b. Information can be obtained and found through audio, visual or tactile interfaces.
3 - The web sites of the bodies mentioned herein which meet these accessibility requirements should demonstrate that fact by displaying the accessibility symbol.
4.1 - The Internet sites of the bodies mentioned in nr. 1 should be adapted to the requisites of this diploma, submitting to their respective supervisory authorities, within one year, a report on the status of their adaptation.
4.2 - Sites created after this diploma becomes effective, immediately implement these standards of accessibility.
5 - The Minister for Science and Technology will work to provide follow-up and assessment on the implementation of this diploma, regularly informing the Government on the extent of its application.
The Presidency of the Cabinet, 29 July 1999. - The Prime Minister, in office, Jaime José Matos da Gama.